The study involved 708 patients with dyspepsia, who had been referred to hospital for endoscopic investigation.
A total of 356 patients received a non-invasive breath test for H. pylori and 352 received endoscopy plus H. pylori testing.
Patients were also asked to score the degree of discomfort or distress caused by their test, and whether they would have the same test again.
|Benefits of breath test over endoscopy:|
- Less uncomfortable/distressing
| British Medical Journal |
After 12 months, non-invasive testing for H. pylori was as effective and as safe as endoscopy.
Only 8.2% of patients followed-up who were randomized to breath test alone were referred for subsequent endoscopy.
No potentially serious pathology requiring treatment other than eradication of H. pylori was missed.
Furthermore, the breath test was as reassuring to the patient as endoscopy, less uncomfortable and distressing, and substantially cheaper than endoscopy.
"For these reasons, non-invasive H. pylori testing seems to be the preferred investigation for patients with uncomplicated dyspepsia," conclude the authors.