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UREA BREATH TEST201041605116


UREA BREATH TEST201041605116

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   HELICOBACTER PYLORI                                            14
                                                                     C UREA BREATH TEST
Helicobacter pylori is a bacteria which infects             The breath tests are performed by having the
the lining of the stomach.                                  patient swallow carbon-labelled urea which is
                                                            metabolised by H. pylori produced urease to
Helicobacter pylori should be treated because               produce labelled carbon dioxide. This is
it has been implicated in the cause of a number             absorbed into the blood stream and then
of stomach and duodenal disorders including                 exhaled in the breath of infected individuals as
acute and chronic gastritis, gastric and                    illustrated.
duodenal ulceration, gastric cancer and gastric

Up to 50% of the population in developed
countries such as Australia will have evidence
of H. pylori infection by the age of 50 years.
The organism is present in up to 92% of
patients with active chronic gastritis, 88-100%
with duodenal ulceration, 58-100% with gastric
ulceration and 46-94% with gastric cancer. In
duodenal ulcer disease eradication of the
organism has been shown to markedly reduce
ulcer recurrence rates.

                                                            At the Royal Adelaide Hospital we use the
                                                              Carbon Urea Breath Test. The procedure is :
                                                              The patient presents following an overnight
                                                            fast and is given a 14C urea capsule to swallow.
                                                               A single breath sample is taken, by blowing
                                                            through a straw into a bottle of liquid, 10 to 15
                                                            minutes later and measured for radioactive
                                                               14C urea is radioactive, but the ingested urea

                                                            is rapidly excreted and the radiation dosage
                                                            from this test is very low (equal to one day's
                                                            background radiation).
The organism usually lives beneath the mucus
layer of the stomach. One of its special                    False negative breath test results can occur
characteristics is its ability to produce urease,           through suppression of urease activity if the
an enzyme that is not normally found in the                 breath tests are performed too soon after
human stomach.                                              antibiotic or acid suppression therapy. The
                                                            Urea Breath Test should be performed;
Various methods have been developed for                       At least 4 weeks following cessation of
detecting H. pylori, including the 13C or 14C               antibiotics (eg. Losec HP7, Helidac )
urea breath tests.                                            At least 3 days following cessation of H2
                                                            antagonists (eg.Tagamet, Zantac, Tazac )
                                                              At least 2 weeks following cessation of
                                                            proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) (eg.Losec,
                                                            Zoton, Nexium )
                                                            Before stopping any medication please consult
                                                            your    medical    practitioner.  For   further
                                                            information please ask the Nuclear Medicine
                                                            technologist performing your test or phone the
                                                            Department on 8222 5407.

                                   RAH-Nuclear Medicine-Administrative-Pamphlets
                                  CL-4003 Version 2.1 Issued 06/06 Review 06/07

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