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Blood Test For H Pylori Infection

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Is Any Test Preparation Needed To Ensure The Quality Of The Sample

H-pylori Tests – what is the best test for H-pylori?

No special preparation is needed for the blood test.

For the urea breath test you must have nothing to eat or drink except a glass of water and your medication on the day of the test. Smoking is also not advised on the day of the test. Please follow any instructions you are given and inform you healthcare professional of any medications you are taking, as some medications will interfere with the test results, and the test may need to be rearranged.

If submitting a stool or having a biopsy you may be instructed to refrain from certain medications.

If undergoing endoscopy, you may be instructed to fast after midnight the night prior to the procedure.

What Causes H Pylori Infections

Its still not known exactly how H. pylori infections spread. The bacteria has coexisted with humans for many thousands of years. The infections are thought to spread from one persons mouth to another, like by kissing.

The bacteria may also be transferred through contact with vomit or stool. This can happen when a person does not wash their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom. H. pylori can also spread through contact with contaminated water or food.

When Should I Expect The Result From My H Pylori Breath Test What Do The Test Results Mean

Test Results

  • Your healthcare provider will contact you as soon as your laboratory test results are available.
  • You will be treated with antibiotics if your test result indicates you have an H. pylori infection.
  • One month after antibiotic treatment, your provider might order a repeat breath test to make sure the infection has been cured.
  • If you have a negative test result and continue to have symptoms, your provider may order other tests to determine their cause.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/20/2020.

References

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Why Would You Get An H Pylori Blood Test

Since doctors are partial to doing blood testing when it is available, you are most likely to get an H pylori blood test if you go through your doctor. However, the H Pylori Blood Test does not test for the bacteria itself it tests for the antibodies to H pylori. And this is where the problem lies. Unfortunately, if you have EVER had an H pylori infection, you might still test positive for the antibodies in the blood, sometimes even for life. And even if you have been exposed to the H pylori bacteria and fought it off, without having ever been infected, you could still have low levels of the antibodies in your blood. This means that it’s common to get ‘false positive’ blood tests. In studies, the reported ‘failure rate’ of H Pylori Eradication is about 1/3 of all people who get treatment, however, it might just LOOK that way because doctors are using the H Pylori blood test to retest for the bacteria, and are getting false positive tests.

How Does H Pylori Infection Cause Damage

Accutest H.Pylori (Helicobacter Pylori) Instant Test Kit ...

H. pylori multiply in the mucus layer of the stomach lining and duodenum. The bacteria secrete an enzyme called urease that converts urea to ammonia. This ammonia protects the bacteria from stomach acid. As H. pylori multiply, it eats into stomach tissue, which leads to gastritis and/or peptic ulcer.

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What Are The Advantages And Limitations Of The Helicobacter Pylori Igg Test

Advantages Limitations
It is an easy to perform test that uses blood, saliva or urine to detect Anti-H. pylori antibodies. It is a safe and inexpensive test. It cannot differentiate between a present or a past infection.
It can be used for screening large at-risk populations. It cannot be used to predict the presence or absence of gastro-duodenal disease in a patient.
The salivary IgG test can even be performed at home. The presence of H.pylori in the body does not throw light on the severity of the disease.
It can be used to determine response to therapy. A significant drop in the IgG antibody after 6 months of treatment points towards a successful recovery. The sensitivity of this test is high but the specificity is very low.

How Is The Test Used

H. pylori testing is used to detect the bacteria in the digestive tract, diagnose the infection, and to evaluate whether treatment has cured the infection.

There are several different types of H. pylori testing that can be performed. The following tables summarize these tests:

Without Endoscopy

  • Feeling of fullness or bloating
  • Nausea
  • Belching

Some people may have more serious signs and symptoms that require immediate medical attention, including sharp, sudden, persistent stomach pain, bloody or black stools, or bloody vomit or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

H. pylori testing may also be ordered about 4 to 6 weeks after you have finished taking the prescribed antibiotics to confirm that the infection is cured. A follow-up test is not performed on every person, however.

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Can H Pylori Spread From Person To Person

Yes, H. pylori can spread from person to person. H. pylori are found in saliva, plaque on teeth and poop. Infection can be spread through kissing and by transferring the bacteria from the hands of those who have not thoroughly washed them after a bowel movement.

Scientists think H. pylori also might be spread through H. pylori-contaminated water and food.

Treatment For H Pylori

H Pylori Tests: How to Use A Simple Home H Pylori Stool Antigen Test

If you have ulcers caused by H. pylori, youâll need treatment to kill the germs, heal your stomach lining, and keep the sores from coming back. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks of treatment to get better.

Your doctor will probably tell you to take a few different types of drugs. The options include:

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Stomach Biopsy Or Urea Breath Test

You will be asked to not eat or drink anything for a certain amount of time before having a breath test or a stomach biopsy. Follow your doctor’s instructions about how long you need to avoid eating and drinking before the test.

Many medicines may change the results of this test. Be sure to tell your doctor about all the prescription and non-prescription medicines you take. Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking some of your medicines.

  • Do not take antibiotics or medicines containing bismuth for 1 month before the test.
  • Do not take proton pump inhibitors for 2 weeks before the test.
  • Do not take H2 blockers, such as Pepcid, Zantac, Axid, or cimetidine, for 24 hours before the test.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form .

Who Gets H Pylori

H. pylori is very common and many people have it worldwide. One in 3 Australians are thought to be infected with H. pylori, but less than 5% of children are infected. It is almost always present in people with peptic or duodenal ulcers, and is responsible for causing most duodenal ulcers and about two-thirds of stomach ulcers. It is also present in the stomach lining of many patients who have stomach cancer.

H. pylori is spread by mouth-to-mouth contact, such as kissing. Infection may also occur by sharing food or utensils with an infected person, or through contact with the vomit or faeces of an infected person. Contaminated food or water is another source of infection.

H. pylori infection rates are higher in older people and migrants, and in places with poor sanitation and crowded living conditions. The living conditions when a person was growing up are a good indicator of whether they are infected or not. With increasing standards of hygiene and less overcrowding, the rates of infection are less.

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How Long Does The Helicobacter Pylori Igg Test Take

A Helicobacter pylori IgG blood test takes about 10-15 minutes. However, in cases where venous access is difficult , more than one prick may be required, leading to prolongation of the duration of the test. A salivary IgG test takes only about 5-10 minutes to perform. A urine test takes about 15-20 minutes.

Can H Pylori Stool Test Be Wrong

Helicobacter pylori HP Antibody Whole Blood Test Cassette

pylori Stool Antigen Tests for Initial Diagnosis. 95% Confidence Intervals are shown in parentheses. Proton pump inhibitors , antibiotics or bismuth compounds are known to inhibit H. pylori and may cause false negative results if the patient has used any of these within 14 days of fecal sample collection.

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Are There Any Risks To Testing

There is very little risk to having a blood test. You may have slight pain or bruising at the spot where the needle was put in, but most symptoms go away quickly.

There is no known risk to having breath or stool tests.

During an endoscopy, you may feel some discomfort when the endoscope is inserted, but serious complications are rare. There is a very small risk of getting a tear in your intestine. If you had a biopsy, there is a small risk of bleeding at the site. Bleeding usually stops without treatment.

Are There Any Risks Involved

Helicobacter pylori IgG test is a safe, risk-free test. As it is a blood test, it involves withdrawing a blood sample from a vein on your arm. This procedure may elicit pain and lead to dizziness in some patients. You can prefer to look away when blood is being withdrawn if you are faint-hearted. A bruise, bleeding, hematoma or subsequent infection at the site of invasion of the vein may be a complication. Consult your doctor if these problems persist.

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H Pylori Blood Test Results Explained

The H Pylori blood test is used to help diagnose an infection that is caused by this bacteria. It will also be used to evaluate what treatment plan may be necessary to relieve a patients symptoms. When there is an infection of the H Pylori bacteria, then there is an increased risk of developing a peptic ulcer, having chronic gastritis, and in rare cases can even be part of the cause behind the development of stomach cancer.

In addition to blood testing, a medical provider may request stool samples or a breath test to help determine the presence of this bacteria. In extreme cases, an endoscopy may be necessary in order for a tissue sample to be taken for direct testing. The blood test is not usually recommended on its own for routine diagnosis or evaluation as it cannot distinguish a previous infection from a current one.

What Does The Test Result Mean

H. pylori infection Testing

A positive H. pylori stool antigen, breath test, or biopsy indicates that your signs and symptoms are likely caused by a peptic ulcer due to these bacteria. Treatment with a combination of antibiotics and other medications will be prescribed to kill the bacteria and stop the pain and the ulceration.

A negative test result means that it is unlikely that you have an H. pylori infection and your signs and symptoms may be due to another cause. However, if symptoms persist, additional testing may be done, including the more invasive tissue biopsy, to more conclusively rule out infection.

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Diagnosis Of H Pylori In Specific Clinical Circumstances

Accurate determination of H. pylori status in patients after eradication therapy is important and UBT as well as SAT are recommended by guidelines to assess the efficacy of eradication therapy. These tests are usually recommended to perform more than 4 wk after end of therapy. However, high false positive rate of 52.9% was found by using 13C-UBT with current cutoff value , especially in patients with more than two times previous eradication therapies and in patients with moderate to severe gastric intestinal metaplasia. A recent study using nested PCR to detect H. pylori from gastric biopsy specimens after eradication therapy showed nested PCR is more sensitive than RUT, histology and culture. Furthermore, PCR based method is able to discriminate the reinfection or recrudescence after eradication therapy.

What Are The Other Tests To Detect Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Non-invasive tests. Breath Test- In this test, your physician will ask you to swallow a pill or a liquid tagged with carbon. If you are suffering from H.pylori infection, carbon will be released when the ingested pill is broken down in your stomach. When you exhale, this carbon will be in your breath. Your physician will use a special device to detect carbon in your breath.Fecal antigen test- This test is also known as a stool antigen test. It detects the presence of antigens related to H.pylori infection in your stool sample. Certain antibiotics, PPIs and bismuth subsalicylate can interfere with the test results and are hence avoided for a couple of weeks before performing the above 2 tests. Both tests can be used for adults as well as children.Invasive tests. These tests are stressful for the patient and are only employed when there are serious signs including bleeding, weight loss or severe anemia. These are also used when treatment failure is seen. These include:Endoscopic biopsy-It includes the insertion of a long, flexible tube into your stomach via your mouth and esophagus. You may be sedated for this procedure or a local anesthetic spray may be used to numb the back of your throat. The flexible tube has a camera at its end to enable the doctor to view the inside of your stomach and intestines. It is also equipped to take a small tissue sample for further analysis.

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Does Basic Blood Test Tests For H Pylori Bacteria

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What Do The Results Mean

Detector H. pylori Test Kit for Whole Blood/Serum/Plasma ...

If your results were negative, it means you probably don’t have an H. pylori infection. Your provider may order more tests to find out the cause of your symptoms.

If your results were positive, it means you have an H. pylori infection. H. pylori infections are treatable. Your health care provider will probably prescribe a combination of antibiotics and other medicines to treat the infection and relieve pain. The medicine plan can be complicated, but it’s important to take all the medicines as prescribed, even if your symptoms go away. If any H. pylori bacteria remain in your system, your condition can worsen. Gastritis caused by H. pylori can lead to a peptic ulcer and sometimes stomach cancer.

Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.

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How Did I Get Infected With H Pylori

The bacteria are believed to be transmitted by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated with human stool, or possibly through contact with the stool, vomit, or saliva of an infected person. Exposure to family members with H. pylori seems to be the most likely opportunity for transmission.

Symptoms Of H Pylori Infection

Most people with H. pylori infection do not experience any symptoms. Symptoms that may be associated with H. pylori infection include:

  • nausea
  • bloating and
  • burping.

However, these symptoms are common in people with and without H. pylori infection and diagnosis of H. pylori infection can only be done by breath test, blood test, stool sample or a biopsy.

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What Happens During The H Pylori Breath Test

During the H. pylori breath test, you will be asked to exhale into a balloon-like bag. The amount of carbon dioxide you exhale into this bag is measured to provide a baseline level for comparison.

Next, you will be asked to drink a small amount of a pleasant lemon-flavored solution. The solution contains a substance called urea. Fifteen minutes after drinking the solution, you will exhale into a second bag. The amount of carbon dioxide you exhale into the second bag is also measured.

H. pylori bacteria breaks down the urea in the solution you drank, releasing carbon dioxide in the breath you exhale. So if the amount of carbon dioxide in your second sample is higher than the amount in your first sample, you have a positive test for the presence of H. pylori.

How H Pylori Makes You Sick

Helicobacter pylori: An Update on Diagnostic Testing [Hot Topic]

For decades, doctors thought people got ulcers from stress, spicy foods, smoking, or other lifestyle habits. But when scientists discovered H. pylori in 1982, they found that the germs were the cause of most stomach ulcers.

After H. pylori enters your body, it attacks the lining of your stomach, which usually protects you from the acid your body uses to digest food. Once the bacteria have done enough damage, acid can get through the lining, which leads to ulcers. These may bleed, cause infections, or keep food from moving through your digestive tract.

You can get H. pylori from food, water, or utensils. Itâs more common in countries or communities that lack clean water or good sewage systems. You can also pick up the bacteria through contact with the saliva or other body fluids of infected people.

Many people get H. pylori during childhood, but adults can get it, too. The germs live in the body for years before symptoms start, but most people who have it will never get ulcers. Doctors arenât sure why only some people get ulcers after an infection.

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