Dr Megraud and colleagues from Bordeaux, France undertook a study in order to compare the current non-invasive tests for Helicobacter pylori infection in children and adolescents.
The research team designed a multicenter, multinational study to investigate the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 4 non-invasive tests.
The researchers included the urea breath test (UBT), stool antigen test, and antibody detection in serum and urine in the study and compared these to biopsy-based tests.
In total, out of 503 patients included pre-treatment, 473 participants fulfilled the definition of H pylori status.
Among those a total of 316 had results available for the 4 non-invasive tests (including 133 H pylori-positive patients).
|Urea breath test had the best sensitivity in all age groups|
|Journal of Pediatrics|
The specificity was excellent for all tests.
The researchers found that urea breath test had the best sensitivity in all age groups.
This was found to be followed by serology, stool test, and antibody detection in urine.
The research team noted a trend for better sensitivity with an increase in age, except for the stool test.
The researchers looked at the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves and were able to show that sensitivity of serology, stool test, and urinelisa could be improved by changing the cutoff value.
Dr Megraud concluded, "An inadequate storage of the specimens may explain the poor results of the stool test."
"The UBT appears to be an excellent test for diagnosis of H pylori infection for children and adolescents."