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.