Published online Aug 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i4.703
Revised: July 7, 2002
Accepted: July 11, 2002
Published online: August 15, 2002
AIM: The widespread use of antibacterial therapy has been suggested to be the cause for the decline in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori infection. This study examine the serial changes of urea breath test results in a group of hospitalized patients who were given antibacterial therapy for non-gastric infections.
METHODS: Thirty-five hospitalized patients who were given antibacterial therapy for clinical infections, predominantly chest and urinary infections, were studied. Most (91%) patients were given single antibiotic of either a penicillin or cephalosporin group. Serial 13C-urea breath tests were performed within 24 h of initiation of antibiotics, at one-week and at six-week post-therapy. H. pylori infection was diagnosed when one or more urea breath tests was positive.
RESULTS: All 35 patients completed three serial urea breath tests and 26 (74%) were H. pylori-positive. Ten (38%) H. pylori-infected patients had at least one negative breath test results during the study period. The medium delta 13C values were significantly lower at baseline (8.8) than at one-week (20.3) and six-week (24.5) post-treatment in H. pylori-positive individuals (P = 0.022). Clearance of H. pylori at six-week was only seen in one patient who had received anti-helicobacter therapy from another source.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggested that one-third of H. pylori-infected individuals had transient false-negative urea breath test results during treatment with antibacterial agent. However, clearance of H. pylori infection by regular antibiotic consumption is rare.