Comparison of13C- urea blood test to13C-breath test and rapid urease test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection

Lucía C. Fry, Walter H. Curioso, Steffen Rickes, Glen Horton, Basil I. Hirschowitz, Klaus Mönkemüller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


At present, the available methods to diagnose active H. pylori infection are endoscopy with biopsy for histology, culture, rapid urease tests, 13C or 14C urea breath test, urine antibody and the stool antigen test. The aims of this study were to simplify the 13C urea test by measuring 13C in blood rather than breath, and to evaluate the usefulness of the 13C urea blood test for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Patients who underwent upper endoscopy for standard clinical indications (e.g. dyspepsia, abdominal pain) were enrolled. A total of 161 patients (93F, 68M, mean age 47±14.2) were evaluated; 50 (31%) of them were H. pylori positive, and 111(69%) were H. pylori negative. H. pylori infection was diagnosed with a rapid urease test (CLO-test) and 13C urea breath test (UBT). Performance characteristics for the 13C urea blood test for diagnosis and evaluation of H. pylori eradication were calculated using UBT and CLO as gold standards. The fifty H. pylori-positive patients were treated with triple antibiotic therapy for two weeks. Four weeks after finishing antibiotic therapy patients were retested with a commercial UBT and urea blood test. The 13C blood test had sensitivities of 92 and 98% and specificities of 96 and 100% as compared with urea breath test and CLO, respectively. We conclude that the 13C urea blood test is highly sensitive and specific for the initial diagnosis and control of eradication of H. pylori infection.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)225-229
Number of pages5
JournalActa Gastroenterologica Latinoamericana
Issue number4
StateIndexed - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


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