Usefulness of Helicobacter pylori stool antigen test to monitor response to eradication treatment in children

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 Feb;15(2):203-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2001.00915.x.


Background: The monitoring of the results of eradication treatment is a crucial step for patients with Helicobacter pylori gastritis. A non-invasive test for H. pylori antigens in stools (HpSA) was recently validated for children.

Aim: To evaluate the accuracy of HpSA in monitoring eradication treatment in children.

Methods: In 60 children, H. pylori gastritis was diagnosed by endoscopy and the 13C-urea breath test. The children were treated and returned for a follow-up (13)C-urea breath test 6 weeks after the end of treatment. Children were considered cured when the (13)C-urea breath test was negative. Stool were collected at baseline, and at 2 and 6 weeks. Stool antigens were measured by HpSA.

Results: According to (13)C-urea breath test, 6 weeks after the end of treatment 49 children were cured and 11 were still H. pylori-positive. The sensitivity and specificity of HpSA on stools collected 2 weeks after therapy were 100%. At 6 weeks specificity was 93.9 and sensitivity 100%. Results by visual reading were concordant with the plate-reader in all but two cases at baseline.

Conclusions: HpSA is accurate for monitoring treatment in children as early as 2 weeks after therapy, when information is most useful and unachievable with other tests. Results by visual reading are accurate, and this can make the test cheaper and more practical.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antigens, Bacterial / analysis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Gastritis / drug therapy
  • Gastritis / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology*
  • Helicobacter pylori* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Antigens, Bacterial