Gastroenterology Book

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Urea Breath Test

Aka: Urea Breath Test, Urease Breath Test
  1. See Also
    1. Helicobacter pylori Noninvasive Testing
  2. Indications
    1. Dyspepsia evaluation
    2. Initial diagnosis of H. pylori
    3. Confirmation of cure after H. pylori management (test 6 weeks after)
  3. Mechanism
    1. Measures urease activity
    2. Detected via nonradioactive isotope carbon 13 or carbon 14
  4. Efficacy: Accurate for Diagnosis for H. pylori
    1. Test Sensitivity: 97%
    2. Test Specificity: 100%
  5. Advantages
    1. In-office test with high accuracy
    2. Noninvasive test of H. pylori cure
  6. Disadvantages
    1. Stop Proton Pump Inhibitors 2 weeks before test
    2. Patient must fast for 6 hours before test
    3. More expensive than stool antigen testing (averages $133)
  7. References
    1. Calvet (2009) Clin Infect Dis 48(10): 1385-91 +PMID:19368506 [PubMed]
    2. Cutler AF (1995) Gastroenterology 109:136-41 +PMID:7540995 [PubMed]

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