Helicobacter Pylori Tests
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include the following:
- Most urea breath tests now use tagged carbon rather than radioactive carbon. If you are pregnant, the radioactive urea breath test for H. pylori is not usually done, because the radiation could harm your child.
- Use of Reference antibiotics Opens New Window may affect the results of the urea breath test, the stool antigen test, and stomach Reference biopsy Opens New Window by reducing the number of H. pylori bacteria in the stomach and Reference duodenum Opens New Window.
- The use of lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), sucralfate (Carafate), omeprazole (Prilosec), famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), cimetidine (Tagamet), or medicines containing bismuth (such as Pepto-Bismol) can also interfere with the results of the urea breath test, the stool antigen test, and stomach biopsy.
- A stomach biopsy may not detect an H. pylori infection that is present if the biopsy samples are taken from areas that are not infected by the H. pylori bacteria.
- Rough handling, contamination, or inadequate refrigeration of the blood sample can cause inaccurate blood antibody test results.
- When a blood antibody test is done early in an H. pylori infection, the results may be Reference falsely negative Opens New Window because the level of antibodies is too low to measure.
- The likelihood of infection with H. pylori increases with age. Older adults are more likely to have detectable amounts of the bacteria in their body.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 4, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology