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J Gastroenterol. 1996 Jun;31(3):329-32.

Detection of Helicobacter pylori by polymerase chain reaction assay using gastric biopsy specimens taken for CLOtest.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital and Medical College, Taipei, Taiwan.


The concordance rate between a rapid urease test (CLOtest) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for the detection of Helicobacter pylori in gastric biopsy samples was investigated. To avoid the bias produced by patchy distribution of the organism in the stomach, the samples used for these two tests were not obtained from two different sites of the antrum. Instead, the PCR assay was performed with the the same biopsy sample that was taken for the CLOtest. Among 82 biopsy samples included for this study, 56 were positive and 26 were negative by CLOtest. Of the 56 CLOtest-positive samples, 52 (93%) were also positive by PCR assay, and of the 26 CLOtest-negative samples, 20 (78%) were negative by PCR assay. The total concordance rate of these two tests was 87.6%. Of the 4 cases with CLOtest-positive and PCR-negative results, 3 had been treated with long-term H2 blockers. Of the 6 patients with CLOtest-negative and PCR-positive results, 4 suffered from recurrent or poorly healing duodenal ulcers. Interestingly, a significantly lower density of the PCR products was observed during electrophoresis analysis for all the 6 cases, presumably due to a small number of H. pylori in these samples. These results indicated that PCR might be used as a complementary assay for CLOtest. False negative results by CLOtest might occur when only a small amount of H. pylori was present in the samples, which could be detected by subsequent PCR assays using the same biopsy specimens. The clinical significance of such CLOtest-negative and PCR-positive cases requires further study.

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