Validity and cost comparison of 14carbon urea breath test for diagnosis of H Pylori in dyspeptic patients
AIM: To validate and compare the cost of microdose 14C urea breath test (UBT) with histology and rapid urease test for the diagnosis of H Pylori.Methods: Ninety-four consecutive patients with dyspeptic symptoms undergoing gastroscopy were enrolled. Gastric biopsies were taken for histology and rapid urease test. UBT was performed after gastroscopy by microdose 14C urea capsules. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of UBT were calculated and compared with histology and rapid urease test. Cost comparison of these tests was also performed.Results: H pylori was diagnosed by histology and rapid urease test in 66 (70%) and 61 (65%) patients, while 14C UBT detected infection in 63 (67%). Accuracy of UBT was 93% in comparison with histology while its positive and negative predictive values were 97% and 84%, respectively. Comparison of 14C UBT with rapid urease test gives an accuracy of 96%, with positive and negative predictive values of 95% and 97%, respectively. These results were highly reproducible with a Kappa test (P value<0.001). Cost of histology or rapid urease test with gastroscopy was 110 USD or 95 USD respectively while the cost of UBT was 15 USD.CONCLUSION: Microdose 14C UBT was comparable to histology and rapid urease test. 14C UBT is an economical, self sufficient and suitable test to diagnose active H pylori infection in less developed countries.