Objective: In a recently published multicenter study involving 501 patients undergoing esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) throughout Europe, we showed the high accuracy of a recently developed simple test (HpSA) to detect Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) antigens in stools of untreated patients. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic usefulness of HpSA compared with 13C UBT shortly after H. pylori eradication treatment.
Methods: Of the 501 patients enrolled in the validation study, 279 were found to be H. pylori-positive. These patients were given H. pylori eradicating regimen and asked to return for follow-up EGD with biopsies, 13C UBT and HpSA testing 4 wk after therapy. Follow-up results were available for 235 patients. Of these, 162 consented to all testing and 73 consented only to 13C UBT and HpSA testing. We assessed sensitivity and specificity of both HpSA and 13C UBT compared with biopsy-based methods in the 162 patients, who accepted follow-up EGD. We also assessed sensitivity and specificity of HpSA compared with 13C UBT, arbitrarily chosen as the gold standard, in the whole population of 235 patients.
Results: Sensitivity and specificity in 162 patients who consented to a second EGD were 93.8% (CI: 85.4-100%) and 96.9% (CI: 93.9-99.9%) for HpSA, and 90.6% (CI: 80.5-100%) and 99.2% (CI: 97.7-100%) for UBT. Using EGD-based methods as the gold standard, 130 of the 162 treated patients' H. pylori infection were eradicated (125 HpSA-negative, one borderline, and four false-positive; 129 13C UBT-negative, one false-positive), and 32 remained H. pylori-infected (30 HpSA-positive, two false-negative, 29 13C UBT-positive, three false negative). The overall eradication rate was 80.2%. The sensitivity and specificity of HpSA relative to UBT as the gold standard in the overall population (n = 235) were 95.6% (CI: 89.6-100%) and 94.7% (CI: 91.5-97.9%), respectively.
Conclusions: HpSA has proven to be a useful method in posttreatment eradication testing for H. pylori. Its ease of use, speed, and noninvasive nature make HpSA testing an ideal method for post-treatment monitoring where a second EGD may not be justified.