Objective: To evaluate the usefulness of a commercial serological enzyme immunoassay (EIA) for detecting salivary immunoglobulin (Ig) G to Helicobacter pylori.
Design: Prospective, multicentre study.
Setting: The study was conducted at 11 gastroenterology hospital centres throughout Italy.
Participants and interventions: Two hundred and thirteen dyspeptic patients underwent gastroscopy with antral biopsies. At each centre, two of the following three tests for H. pylori diagnosis were performed: urease quick test, histology, and 13C-urea breath test. Samples of unstimulated saliva and venous blood were collected from each patient. Salivary and serum H. pylori IgG were determined with the EIA Helori-test IgG (Eurospital, Trieste, Italy).
Main outcome measures: Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and accuracy of the salivary and serum EIAs.
Results: By using a receiver operating characteristic curve, salivary EIA yielded 81% (95% confidence interval 73-87%) sensitivity, 73% (62-83%) specificity, 84% (76-90%) positive predictive value, 69% (58-79%) negative predictive value, and 78% (72-84%) accuracy. At the cut-off suggested by the manufacturer, serum EIA had 90% (84-95%) sensitivity, 78% (67-86%) specificity, 88% (81-93%) positive predictive value, 82% (71-90%) negative predictive value, and 86% (81-91%) accuracy.
Conclusion: In this large multicentre study, detection of salivary H. pylori IgG with a commercial serological EIA was a fairly accurate diagnostic method. Data confirm that saliva testing does not compare favourably with serology in the assessment of H. pylori status.