Breath Tests (C14 and C13)

Breath tests are the most accurate way of detecting H.pylori without actually having an endoscopy (stomach examination). Breath tests are especially useful after treatment to make sure H.pylori is cured. Urea breath tests are known to be completely harmless. Either C14-urea or C13-urea tests are used. Read about them at the diagnosis section at http://www.helico.com/diag_breath.html where a diagram can be found. C14-urea breath tests use a radioactive tracer but such a tiny amount that it can be used safely at any age. It is a 15 minute test, convenient and inexpensive. The C13-urea test uses a stable isotope of carbon which is also harmless but requires two breath samples and takes about 30 minutes. Both tests have accuracy greater than 90%.

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