The Italian journal of gastroenterology vol:27 issue:2 pages:55-63
The urea breath test exploits the urease enzyme of Helicobacter pylori. The hydrolysis of labelled urea releases labelled carbon dioxide that is excreted in the breath. Distribution of urea throughout the stomach prevents sampling errors and allows for semiquantitative assessment of the extent of Helicobacter pylori infection. The urea breath test is very specific and sensitive and can be proposed as the method of choice for detecting Helicobacter pylori infection in ulcer patients before and after eradicating treatment as well as in epidemiological studies.