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Whole-blood antibody tests were not highly sensitive for detecting Helicobacter pylori infection

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 QUESTION: How accurate are whole-blood antibody tests for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori infection?


Blinded comparison of 3 whole-blood antibody tests with tests based on endoscopic biopsy.


3 medical centres in the United States (Ann Arbor, Michigan; Syracuse, New York; and Los Angeles, California).


131 patients who were 19–87 years of age (mean age 54 y, 59% men) and were referred for upper endoscopy. Exclusion criteria were treatment for H. pylori infection in the previous year or use of antibiotics or bismuth-containing compounds in the previous month or a proton-pump inhibitor in the previous 7 days.

Description of tests and diagnostic standards

The 3 whole-blood antibody tests were FlexPack HP (Abbott Diagnostics, Abbott Park, IL, USA), QuickVue (Quidel Corporation, San Diego, CA, USA), and AccuMeter (formerly HpChek; ChemTrak, Sunnyvale, CA, USA). Antibody testing was done by using whole blood obtained with 2 or 3 fingersticks. The 3 diagnostic standards were histological evidence of H. pylori infection in biopsies taken …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr W D Chey, University of Michigan Medical Center, 3912 Taubman Center, Box 0362, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA. FAX 734-936-7392.