Performance of acidified 14C-urea capsule breath test during pantoprazole and ranitidine treatment

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2009 Jul;24(7):1248-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2009.05845.x. Epub 2009 Apr 13.


Background and aim: Urea breath test (UBT) results could be false negative in patients taking antisecretory drugs. This effect would be prevented by citric acid administration during UBT. We prospectively investigated whether acidified 14C-urea capsule prevents false negative UBT results in patients taking antisecretory drugs and show interference with the duration of medications.

Methods: Sixty Helicobacter pylori positive patients were included. Pantoprazole (40 mg/day) was given to 27 patients for 28 days and ranitidine (300 mg. o.d.) to 33 patients for 60 days. Urea breath tests were repeated on days 14 and 28 in both groups and on day 60 in the ranitidine group.

Results: The baseline mean breath counts of two groups did not show any significant difference. Pantoprazole led to a significant decrease in mean breath counts on day 14 (P < 0.005). Six of 27 and 3 of 25 patients taking pantoprazole developed negative or equivocal UBT results on days 14 and 28, respectively. Two of 32, 2 of 32 and 3 of 21 patients taking ranitidine developed negative or equivocal UBT results on days 14, 28 and 60, respectively.

Conclusions: The use of acidified 14C-urea capsule did not prevent false negative UBT results in patients taking pantoprazole and ranitidine, and the duration of medication does not affect the test results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • 2-Pyridinylmethylsulfinylbenzimidazoles / adverse effects
  • 2-Pyridinylmethylsulfinylbenzimidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Breath Tests*
  • Capsules
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Citric Acid*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Helicobacter Infections / diagnosis
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Pantoprazole
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Ranitidine / adverse effects
  • Ranitidine / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urea*


  • 2-Pyridinylmethylsulfinylbenzimidazoles
  • Capsules
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Citric Acid
  • Ranitidine
  • Urea
  • Pantoprazole