What is the role of a urea breath test in the diagnosis of pediatric Helicobacter pylori (Hp) infection?

Updated: Nov 16, 2018
  • Author: Mutaz I Sultan, MBChB, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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  • Urea breath test: The patient ingests a test meal that contains urea labeled with carbon-13 (13 C), which is a nonradioactive isotope. H pylori urease activity produces labeled13 C dioxide that can be detected in exhaled air. A positive result confirms urease activity and H pylori infection. This test is very specific and sensitive in patients older than 6 years. Its most useful application is to verify H pylori eradication after treatment. Experience in children 5 years or younger, particularly in infants, is relatively limited and needs further validation.

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