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 23 February 2018

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Stool antigen test for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection in children

Diagnosis of H. pylori infection in children can be successfully carried out using a non-invasive stool antigen test, reports a paper in the September issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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A study by members of three departments from the Emma Children's Hospital and Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has evaluated the Helicobacter pylori Stool Antigen (HpSA) test for the diagnosis of H. pylori infection in children.

Olga J. van Doorn and colleagues conducted the prospective cohort study at the academic medical center on a group of 106 consecutive children who underwent gastroscopy.

Biopsy specimens were sampled from the gastric antrum and corpus for the assessment of H. pylori infection, by culture and histology.

HpSA test accurately diagnoses H. pylori infection in children.
European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

A patient was defined as H. pylori-positive if the results of culture and/or histology proved to be H. pylori-positive; if both tests were negative, the patient was defined as negative.

All children provided a stool sample within two days of gastroscopy. H. pylori antigens in the feces were assessed by an enzyme immunoassay.

The mean age of included patients was 8.5 years (range 1-18.5 years).

A total of 30 patients were H. pylori-positive and 76 patients were H. pylori-negative.

The researchers found the sensitivity and specificity of the test to be 100% and 92%, respectively. The positive and negative predicting values were 83% (30 out of 36) and 100% (70 out of 70), respectively.

This indicates, claim the research team, that the HpSA test does accurately diagnose H. pylori infection in children.

They suggest that the test may therefore be a good alternative for diagnostic tests such as the 13C-urea breath test.

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2001; 13(9): 1061-5
26 September 2001

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