Five micro-curie urea breath test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection: evaluation in a South-East Asian population

Aust N Z J Surg. 1999 Jan;69(1):37-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1622.1999.01489.x.


Background: Helicobacter pylori is an important pathogen responsible for significant morbidity and mortality. Its prevalence varies widely in different geographical locations and is especially high in parts of Asia.

Methods: A double-blind study was carried out to evaluate the use of the 5 microCi (185 KBq) [14C]-urea breath test ([14C]-UBT) in a South-East Asian population by validating its diagnostic accuracy against histology and the CLO test.

Results: The sensitivity and specificity of the [14C]-UBT was 100% when compared against the CLO test. When histology was used as the 'gold standard', the sensitivity and specificity were 100% and 97.2%, respectively. There was no overlap or indeterminate values between positive and negative results on the [14C]-UBT.

Conclusions: Among South-East Asian populations where the prevalence of H. pylori infection is high, the high sensitivity of the 5 microCi [14C]-UBT makes it a very important test in the detection of H. pylori.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asia, Southeastern / epidemiology
  • Breath Tests / methods
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Helicobacter Infections / diagnosis*
  • Helicobacter Infections / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer / microbiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Urea


  • Urea