H Pylori Tests and Results

Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most gastric and duodenal ulcers through disruption of the protective mucous layer. This organism is epidemiologically linked to gastric adenocarcinoma and lymphoma.

H pylori tests, Laboratory Findings:

Helicobacter pylori may be diagnosed by several invasive or noninvasive means:

  • Histologic examination of gastric mucosa: Organisms stain poorly with H&E but may be demonstrated with Giemsa or silver staining.
  • Culture of gastric mucosa: Special culture techniques are required for isolation. The organism is microaerophilic and capnophilic and yields growth within 5 days on enriched media.
  • Urease activity (direct tissue or Urease breath test): Strongly positive.
  • Specific antigen: A commercially available assay for detection of H. pylori antigen in feces shows a sensitivity of approximately 90% and specificity of approximately 95% for detection of active infection. Helicobacter pylori antigen may be useful for monitoring response to therapy.
  • Serology: Helicobacter pylori antibody IgG is typically measured. Positive response is predictive of active infection in patient populations where the prevalence of active infection is not high. Antibody levels may remain persistently positive for a period after successful therapy, so serology may have a limited role in early test of cure.

Ammonia is derived mostly from protein degradation. Most of the ammonia in the blood comes from the intestine, where colonic bacteria use ureases to breakdown urea to ammonia and CO2. Eight-five percent of blood from the intestine is carried directly to the liver via the portal vein and 85% of ammonia is converted back to urea and excreted by the kidneys and colon. Helicobacter pylori in the stomach appears to be an important source of ammonia in patients with cirrhosis.

Normal range: <50 μmol/L.

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H Pylori Tests and Results was last modified: January 11th, 2015 by Sarah

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