Urea Breath Test
After endoscopic biopsy procedure, this is the best test to diagnose the Helicobacter pylori infection.
The source of 13C is non-radioactive.
What is the urea breath test?
It is a breath test for adolescents from the age of 12 and adults to determine the presence of bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the stomach.
Your doctor wants to confirm whether you are suffering from Helicobacter pylori infection to help diagnose your condition.
You have already been determined as being infected with Helicobacter pylori and have been taking medication aimed to clear up the infection. Your doctor now wishes to find out if the treatment has been successful.
Method of use
You must have fasted for 6 hours before application, preferably overnight. Ask your doctor, if fasting is a problem, for example for diabetic patients. If the test needs to be carried out later in the day, only a light meal like tea and toast is recommend.
The test should be performed following at least:
- 4 weeks after a therapy against a bacterial infection.
- 2 weeks after the last administration of a medicine to reduce release of stomach acid.
How does the test work?
All foods contain a substance called carbon -13 (C). This carbon-13 can be detected in the carbon dioxide you breathe out of your lungs. The actual amount of carbon-13 in the breath will depend on the kind of food that you have eaten.
You will be asked to drink the “test meal”. Following the meal, samples of your breath will be taken. These samples will be analyzed to measure the “normal” amount of carbon-13 content in the carbon dioxide in your breath.
You will then be asked to drink a solution of carbon-13-urea. Further samples of your breath will then be taken 30 minutes later and the amount of carbon-13 in the samples measured as before. The results will be compared and a significant increase in the amount of carbon-13 in the set of samples will suggest to your doctor that Helicobacter pylori is present.