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One of the most common factors behind the development of stomach ulcers in people worldwide is Helicobacter pylori infection. But for identifying the infection, one had to undergo a battery of tests until now. A new test can do so in less than 10 minutes.

The BreathIDHp Test

According to experts, Helicobacter pylori infection is the main reason behind the development of 80% of stomach ulcers and 90% of duodenal ulcers in people around the world. In the US alone, 20% of the people under the age of 40 and 50% of the people above the age of 60 are infected by this bacterium, as per the statistics given by the National Institutes of Health. Some of these people go on to develop stomach and duodenal cancers. Therefore, it is suggested that all symptomatic cases of Helicobacter pylori infection should be treated at the earliest. However, for diagnosing the infection, the patients had to undergo a battery of tests which included blood and stool tests, barium meal studies and even endoscopies. These tests were conducted over a few days and also involved more expenses. Moreover, results may take days to weeks before getting reported.

However, a new test developed by Exalenz Bioscience, is set to revolutionize the way Helicobacter pylori infection was diagnosed till now. The test is a type of breath test which analyzes the patient’s exhale and based on this, can detect the presence or absence of the infection in less than 10 minutes. The test goes by the name of BreathIDHp test.

For undergoing a BreathIDHp test, the patient is asked to drink a mixture containing radioactive carbon. The patient is then asked to exhale in a device after around fifteen minutes and his exhale is analyzed for levels of radioactive carbon. There are significant changes in the levels of radioactive carbon and carbon dioxide present in the air exhaled by a person suffering from Helicobacter pylori infection. The major advantage of this test is that the results can be seen in less than ten minutes and it is completely non-invasive. Another advantage of the test is that as the results can be seen faster, treatment can also be initiated much earlier.

The BreathIDHp test is quite simple to carry out and can be carried out by any person by simply following the instructions displayed on the screen. The entire kit is very compact and does not occupy much space. It can be easily kept on a small table or countertop either at the physician’s office or in a clinical laboratory. The results are completely compatible with electronic medical records.

Guidelines to be followed before the breath test

There are certain guidelines to be followed before undergoing the breath test. These include:

  • The patient should refrain from taking any antibiotics or oral Bismuth subsalicylate for around four weeks before the test.
  • The patient should avoid proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole, lansoprazole and pantoprazole for at least two weeks before the test is conducted.
  • The patient should not eat or drink anything one hour before the test.

It is important to follow these instructions as the medicines may interfere with the results of the test.

In case the BreathIDHp test comes positive, it indicates that the patient is suffering from helicobacter pylori infection. The physician then prescribes antibiotics to cure the infection. The test is normally repeated a month after the course of antibiotics to rule out any residual infection.

Continue reading after recommendations

  • “Exalenz New BreathID Test Detects H.Pylori Bacteria In As Fast As 10 Minutes, Quicky Diagnoses Gastric Conditions,” by Anoopa Singh for Medical Daily, published on July 15, 2013, accessed on December 10, 2013
  • “The 13C urea breath test in the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection,” by Savarino V, et al, published in the British medical Journal, accessed on December 10, 2013.
  • Photo courtesy of OregonDOT by Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/oregondot/3835297622/
  • Photo courtesy of AJ Cann by Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/7164768470/