Breath tests are the most accurate way of detecting H.pylori without actually having an endoscopy (stomach examination). Breath tests are especially useful after treatment to make sure H.pylori is cured. Urea breath tests are known to be completely harmless. Either C14-urea or C13-urea tests are used. Read about them at the diagnosis section at http://www.helico.com/diag_breath.html where a diagram can be found. C14-urea breath tests use a radioactive tracer but such a tiny amount that it can be used safely at any age. It is a 15 minute test, convenient and inexpensive. The C13-urea test uses a stable isotope of carbon which is also harmless but requires two breath samples and takes about 30 minutes. Both tests have accuracy greater than 90%.
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I had an endoscopy 12 months ago which confirmed I had HPylori & Gastritis. As recommended by my specialist I then took the HP7 treatment for about 12 days during late 2009, and around late Feb 2010 I had a breath test at Clinpath which was negative. By around April 2010 I was felling great and had no symptons. However, my symptons (burping, bloated after food, tight stomach) recently returned around late August 2010 and so I had another Clinpath breath test last week which was again negative! I'm sceptical of the current negative result as my symptons are exact same as the symptons I had 12 months ago before my HP7 treatment. I have taken no medication this year, so I believe medication compliance with the breath test is good. I have read Breath Test instructions that one should take a deep breath and hold for about 5 to 10 seconds before blowing into the bag, which I did not do last week, but Clinpath advised today that this would not cause a negative result. How accurate are the Breath Tests? and considering my symptons have returned should I believe last weeks Clinpath negative Breath Test? Thanks in advance.
hi pauls i had same symptoms as u last year after having treatment in 2005 docs just kept on brushing me off!! i eventually had breath test in feb and came back neg but i then had a camera down 2 weeks later and have 3 ulcers in my duodoneum, severe gastritis, damaged osophagus,hitus hernia and low and behold helicobacter positve!!! so i dont trust the test im still having severe problems and was at hospital last week they goin to put camera down again but i got letter sat from gp saying ive to get another breath test so not to happy bout that as i dont trust it!!! keep pestering them as youll get nowhere!! good luck!!
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Very few tests are 100% accurate. Breath tests are innaccurate in some people because mouth bacteria linger in the oesophagus and set of a weak positive reaction with the test. It's because the oesophagus is not draining properly - maybe a mild swallowing problem. Borderline breath tests are more common in the elderly. In other people, the stomach empties rather quickly and the breath test goes straight down through into the intestine so the test is negative even when Hp is present.
Check the link below for information on hard-to-treat cases. Then search the forums for questions and answers similar to yours.