Non-invasive tests for the diagnosis of helicobacter pylori: state of the art

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Stefano Kayali
Rosalia Aloe
Chiara Bonaguri
Federica Gaiani
Marco Manfredi
Gioacchino Leandro
Fabiola Fornaroli
Francesco Di Mario
Gian Luigi de' Angelis

Keywords

Helicobacter pylori, infection, urea breath test, antibodies, stool antigen, eradication, diagnosis

Abstract

Usually, non-invasive tests are the first methods for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori (HP) infection. Among these, serological test, stool antigen research and urea breath test are the most used. Antibodies anti-HP are not recommended in low prevalence population, moreover they cannot reveal an ongoing infection, but they only prove a contact with the bacterium. Also, they can persist for a long time after the eradication of the infection, therefore, they should not be used to verify the success of eradication therapy. Stool antigen research and Urea Breath Test (UBT) are useful both in diagnosis and during follow-up after eradication treatment. The stool antigen test is cheaper than Urea breath test with similar sensitivity and specificity.  Non-invasive tests are not able to diagnose the associated complications to HP infection.

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