The H. pylori breath test is a quick and simple office-based test that determines the presence of active Helicobacter pylori infection. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that can cause ulcers in the stomach and the duodenum or the first part of the small intestine. This test is typically ordered for patients who have complaints of abdominal pain, dyspepsia, esophageal reflux and heartburn. It is also indicated for patients who have been found to have the presence of ulcers in the stomach and duodenum. It can also be used to determine the effectivity of antibiotic therapy for patients who have recently been treated for known H. pylori infection.

This test involves the patient blowing into a small bag that traps and stores the patient’s breath. He/she then drinks a small solution containing urea. After ten to fifteen minutes, the patient finally blows into another small bag. The two breath samples are tested for differences in carbon dioxide content. If the patient is found to have a positive test, he or she can be treated for the bacterial infection.

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