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The breath test - A call for more regional use

Heaney, A. and Kalin, R.M. and Collins, J.S.A. and Watson, R.G.P. and McFarland, R.J. (1997) The breath test - A call for more regional use. European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 9 (7). pp. 693-696.

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Objective: Although the C-13-urea breath test is commonly used for detection of Helicobacter pylori infection and eradication, access to commercial testing centres for analysis may at times limit its use. We have addressed this issue by establishing a regional-based means of analysis as a Hospital-University collaboration. Design/methods: A blind comparison was undertaken of C-13-urea breath test results performed 'in house' by the stable isotope laboratory in Queen's University Belfast and a commercially available C-13-urea breath test. Results: The H. pylori status of the patients (n = 110) agreed for all patients (kappa score = 1). The excess values showed good agreement. The cost of the 'in house' breath test was less than 20 pounds compared with 32.90 pounds for the commercial breath test. Conclusion: Regional access to the C-13-urea breath test could decrease costs, increase availability of testing, improve local health services and economy and increase collaborative research opportunities.