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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2002 Jul;35(1):39-43.

13 C-urea breath test with infrared spectroscopy for diagnosing helicobacter pylori infection in children and adolescents.

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  • 1Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil.



Studies support the accuracy of 13C-urea breath test for diagnosing and confirming cure of Helicobacter pylori infection in children. Three methods are used to assess 13CO2 increment in expired air: mass spectrometry, infrared spectroscopy, and laser-assisted ratio analysis. In this study, the 13C-urea breath test performed with infrared spectroscopy in children and adolescents was evaluated.


Seventy-five patients (6 months to 18 years old) were included. The gold standard for diagnosis was a positive culture or positive histology and a positive rapid urease test. Tests were performed with 50 mg of 13C-urea diluted in 100 mL orange juice in subjects weighing up to 30 kg, or with 75 mg of 13C-urea diluted in 200 mL commercial orange juice for subjects weighing more than 30 kg. Breath samples were collected just before and at 30 minutes after tracer ingestion. The 13C-urea breath test was considered positive when delta over baseline (DOB) was greater than 4.0%.


Tests were positive for H. pylori in 31 of 75 patients. Sensitivity was 96.8%, specificity was 93.2%, positive predictive value was 90.9%, negative predictive value was 97.6%, and accuracy was 94.7%.


13C-urea breath test performed with infrared spectroscopy is a reliable, accurate, and noninvasive diagnostic tool for detecting H. pylori infection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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