Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the bacterium (germ) responsible for most ulcers and many cases of stomach inflammation (chronic gastritis).
There are several different methods to test for H. pylori infection.
Breath test (called the carbon isotope-urea breath test or UBT):
Testing is most often done to diagnose H. pylori infection:
Testing may also be done if you need to take long-term ibuprofen or other NSAIDs drugs. Ask your doctor.
Testing may also be done on some people with dyspepsia.
Normal results mean there is no sign that you have an H. pylori infection.
Abnormal results mean that there is an infection of the stomach by H. pylori.
• Patients who have H. pylori and also have an ulcer are most likely to benefit from being treated.
• Patients who only have indigestion, heartburn, or acid reflux and H. pylori are less likely to benefit from treatment. The treatment does not work in all patients.
• Patients who are taking long-term NSAID drugs may be treated for H. pylori, in order to prevent ulcers.
Peptic ulcer disease - H. pylori; PUD - H. pylori
McColl KEL. Helicobacter pylori infection. NEJM. 2010;362(17):1597-1604.
Spee LA. Association between Helicobacter pylori and gastrointestinal symptoms in children. Pediatrics. 2010;125(3):e651-e669.
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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