Urea breath test for the detection of Helicobacter pylori using a stable isotope (13C)

Teste respiratório com isótopo estável (13C-uréia) para detecção do Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori is found in the stomach of most patients with duodenal ulcer. Techniques for its diagnosis include histopathology, urease test and urea breath test (UBT) using urea labeled with radioactive (14C) or stable carbon (13C). The objectives of the present study were: 1) to carry out UBT for the diagnosis of H. pylori using a stable isotope; 2) to compare the results with those obtained by the urease test, histology (considered to be the gold standard), and 14C UBT. Fifty-four patients (25 women) aged 30 to 55 years were studied. The UBT showed 90% sensitivity and specificity (Kappa value ranging from 0.77 to 1.03). Detection levels at 30 min below 4.82d‰ were considered to be negative. Values between 4.82 and 14.96d‰ were considered to be doubtful, with repetition of the test being recommended in these cases, while levels above this value were considered to be positive. The 13C UBT was found to be practical, adequate, easy to carry out and harmless, thus being recommended as a diagnostic procedure for adults and children with suspected H. pylori infection, irrespective of sex or pathophysiological condition.

Helicobacter pylori; Urea breath test (UBT); Urea labeled with radioactive carbon (14C); Stable carbon (13C)


Sociedade Brasileira de Patologia Clínica, Rua Dois de Dezembro,78/909 - Catete, CEP: 22220-040v - Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Tel.: +55 21 - 3077-1400 / 3077-1408, Fax.: +55 21 - 2205-3386 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: jbpml@sbpc.org.br