Evaluation of noninvasive versus invasive techniques for the diagnosis of helicobacter pylori infection

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Background: Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common bacterial strains causing chronic infections, affecting over one half of the world's population. There is increasing interest in noninvasive methods for diagnosing H. pylori infection. The aim of the study was to evaluate 3 different noninvasive methods of diagnosis: the stool antigen test (HpSA), the serum antibody test, and the stool-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test as against invasive methods based on histopathologic diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS:: Gastric biopsies were obtained during endoscopy. Sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and Giemsa stain. Serum samples were tested for H. pylori antibody using an enzyme-linked immnunosorbent assay kit for the semiquantitative determination of IgG antibodies; stool samples were tested for H. pylori antigen using polyclonal enzyme-linked immnunosorbent assay kits. DNA samples from stool specimens were extracted, followed by PCR for the detection of H. pylori UreA. Results: The results revealed that 18/19 (94.7%) patients were positive for H. pylori infection as detected by Giemsa stain, and 84.2% were positive on the basis of hematoxylin and eosin stain, with a sensitivity and specificity of 88.9% and 100%, respectively. Diagnosis by noninvasive methods, including the serum antibody test, revealed a sensitivity and positive predictive value of 88.9% and 94.2%, respectively, whereas the stool antigen test recorded a sensitivity and positive predictive value of 72.2% and 92.9%, respectively. The stool-PCR test recorded a sensitivity of 72.2% and specificity of 100%. Conclusions: Among the noninvasive methods for diagnosis of H. pylori infection, the 3 methods used in this study recorded promising results, including good sensitivity, which was the highest in the serum antibody test, whereas the stool-PCR test recorded excellent specificity. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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