Italian journal of gastroenterology and hepatology vol:30 issue:2 pages:146-50
AIMS: This study was carried out to evaluate whether the 13C-urea breath test could assess the intragastric Helicobacter pylori load and predict the outcome of infected subjects undergoing short-term triple therapy. METHODS: A total of 108 infected patients underwent upper endoscopy with antral biopsies and histological grading of Helicobacter pylori density. These patients received omeprazole 20 mg b.i.d., clarithromycin 500 mg b.i.d., and amoxycillin 1000 mg b.i.d. or tinidazole 500 mg b.i.d. for one week. 13C-urea breath test (75 mg 13C-urea; results expressed as Delta Over Baseline values at 30') was performed before and after therapy. According to pre-treatment Delta Over Baseline at 30' values, patients were assigned to low (< 16/1000), intermediate (16-35/1000) and high (> 35/1000) Delta Over Baseline at 30' groups. RESULTS: A significant correlation was found between pre-treatment Delta Over Baseline at 30' values and the density of Helicobacter pylori (rs = 0.76). The eradication rates were 82%, 67%, and 17% in the low, intermediate, and high Delta Over Baseline at 30' groups, respectively (p = 0.0001). When classified according to the outcome of therapy, the median pre-treatment Delta Over Baseline at 30' value was 15.7 in eradicated subjects vs 21.6 in non eradicated patients (p = 0.002). In patients who failed eradication, a significant difference was also observed between pre- and post-treatment Delta Over Baseline at 30' values (21.6 vs 15.6, p = 0.019). CONCLUSIONS: The 13C-urea breath test can be used to evaluate the intragastric bacterial load and to predict the outcome of standard eradication treatment.