Accurate diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection by stool antigen test and 6 other currently available tests in children

J Pediatr. 2000 Jun;136(6):823-7.


Invasive and noninvasive tests have been developed for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. Because H pylori infection is acquired in childhood and adolescence, accurate diagnosis of the infection in the pediatric population is important. We conducted a study to compare invasive tests: culture, biopsy urease test, histology, and polymerase chain reaction on gastric biopsy specimens, with noninvasive tests: serology, (13)C-urea breath test, and a new diagnostic modality, stool antigen test to diagnose H pylori infection. A total of 53 children with symptoms were enrolled in this study, and all had completed the 7 diagnostic tests for H pylori. All the diagnostic tests except serology were excellent methods of diagnosing H pylori infection in children; the diagnostic accuracy was as follows: stool antigen test 96.2%, biopsy urease test 96.2%, histology 98.1%, polymerase chain reaction 94.3%, culture 98.1%, (13)C-urea breath test 100%, and serology 84.9%. The stool antigen test, being highly sensitive and specific, will be potentially very helpful in diagnosing H pylori infection in children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis
  • Child
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / diagnosis*
  • Helicobacter pylori* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Antigens, Bacterial