Background: Confirmation of Helicobacter pylori eradication by urea breath test (UBT) is currently performed 4-6 weeks after completion of therapy because of unacceptable false-negative results in UBTs performed earlier. Use of a high-dose citric acid test meal appears to enable accurate detection of H. pylori even during short term therapy with proton pump inhibitors. Aim: To evaluate if use of a high dose citric acid (4.0 g) test meal can decrease the interval required for confirmation of eradication after triple therapy. Methods: 233 patients positive for H. pylori were randomized to undergo UBT at 7 days or 14 days after triple therapy, and again at 6 weeks. The latter test was considered the gold standard test. Results: The UBT performed 6 weeks after the end of treatment found that 79.9% were cured. The same test 7 days after therapy found false-negative detection of H. pylori in 7.3% patients compared to 3.2% patients examined after 14 days. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values and accuracy for evaluation on day 14 were 80, 100, 100, 96.3 and 96.7%, respectively. Conclusions: High-dose citric acid-based UBT is a valid test for the assessment of H. pylori status 14 days after triple therapy. This may obviate the delay in instituting second-line eradication therapy, or further evaluation of the symptomatic patient unresponsive to therapy despite eradication.
- Helicobacter pylori
- Urea breath test