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Logo of bmcgastBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Gastroenterology
BMC Gastroenterol. 2012; 12: 8.
Published online 2012 January 19. doi:  10.1186/1471-230X-12-8
PMCID: PMC3292456

Applicability of a short/rapid 13C-urea breath test for Helicobacter pylori: retrospective multicenter chart review study



Carbon labeled urea breath tests usually entail a two point sampling with a 20 to 30-minute gap. Our aim was to evaluate the duration of time needed for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori by the BreathID® System.


This is a retrospective multicenter chart review study. Test location, date, delta over baseline, and duration of the entire test were recorded. Consecutively 13C urea breath tests results were extracted from the files over a nine year period.


Of the 12,791 tests results, 35.1% were positively diagnosed and only 0.1% were inconclusive. A statistically significant difference in prevalence among the countries was found: Germany showing the lowest, 13.3%, and Israel the highest, 44.1%. Significant differences were found in time to diagnosis: a positive diagnosis had the shortest and an inconclusive result had the longest. Overall test duration averaged 15.1 minutes in Germany versus approximately 13 minutes in other countries. Diagnosis was achieved after approximately 9 minutes in Israel, Italy and Switzerland, but after 10 on average in the others. The mean delta over baseline value for a negative diagnosis was 1.03 ± 0.86, (range, 0.9 - 5), versus 20.2 ± 18.9, (range, 5.1 - 159.4) for a positive one.


The BreathID® System used in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori can safely shorten test duration on average of 10-13 minutes without any loss of sensitivity or specificity and with no test lasting more than 21 minutes.

Keywords: BreathID®, breath test, Helicobacter pylori, test duration

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