Urea Breath Test - UBT
UBT is diagnostic test that is used to detect active infection by Helicobacter Pylori that can cause Peptic ulcer.
This test is based on the ability of H.pylori tp secrete an enzyme urease, that concerts urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide.
How is the test performed?
Patients come to our office without eating or drinking or smoking for 4-6 hours. They first blow into a bag to measure baseline carbon dioxide. Then they drink a solution of water/beverage containing C-13 labeled urea (NOT RADIOACTIVE) and 10 minutes later, again blow into a bag. The amount of C-13 carbon dioxide in the bag is measured and if detected suggests active H.Pylori infection. The test takes about 20 minutes to perform and results are usually available the same day.
Why is UBT performed?
UBT is used to confirm the presence of H.pylori in the stomach as well as to document clearance of the bacteria after treatment.
What are the precautions?
It is important that patients stay off antibiotics and Proton Pump Inhibitors for two weeks before the test as the continued use of these drugs before the test can cause a false negative test.