C13 Urea Breath Test
As of June 2, 2003, the Department of Pathology began to offer C13 urea breath testing to detect Helicobacter pylori. The advantage of C13 testing is that it detects active infection, whereas serologic testing only detects previous exposure to H. pylori. C13 is a non-radioactive isotope. The C13 test will now be performed in house with results in 60 minutes after samples are received in the laboratory.

Some practical matters regarding the Helicobacter pylori urea breath test:
1. The patient should be fasting for one hour before the testing.
2. The patient should be off antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and bismuth compounds two weeks prior to testing. (Note: H2 antagonists do not affect test results)
3. In cases where patients are being tested to determine if H. pylori has been eradicated, they should have been off treatment for four weeks.

Testing kits are in the DDC and Family Care. Other areas should contact the Critical Care Lab (6-8689) for kits and instructions.

Completed tests should be delivered to the Critical Care Lab, 5802 JPP. Do not send samples through the pneumatic tube system. Samples may be left for the transport personnel (runners) to be delivered to the Critical Care Lab.

Questions can be directed to Mikhail Arey (131-3662) or Ronald Feld, Ph.D., at 356-1759.