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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

versión impresa ISSN 1130-0108


CASTRO-FERNANDEZ, M. et al. Diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with bleeding ulcer disease: rapid urease test and histology. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2004, vol.96, n.6, pp.395-401. ISSN 1130-0108.

Introduction: the endoscopic diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer is limited by a decreased sensitivity in standard invasive tests, rapid urease test and histology. There is controversy about the convenience of using one, neither, or both diagnostic tests. Aims: to evaluate the results of simultaneously performed rapid urease test and histology in the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection (H. pylori) in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer. Patients and methods: we included 173 patients, 98 male and 75 female, with an average age of 62 years (18-88), with upper gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to duodenal ulcer (115) or gastric ulcer (58), diagnosed within 24 hours after hospital admission. None of the patients had received treatment for H. pylori, proton pump inhibitors or antibiotics in the two weeks prior to the upper gastrointestinal bleeding episode. H. pylori infection was investigated in all patients by two antral biopsy samples for histological study (hematoxilin-eosin) and one or two antral biopsies for rapid urease test (Jatrox®-H.p.-test). In cases with a negative urease test and histology, a 13C urea breath test was performed. Infection was considered present when at least one invasive test or the breath test was positive, whereas both invasive tests and the breath test had to be negative to establish an absent infection. Results: 152 patients (88%) showed H. pylori infection, 104 patients (90%) with duodenal ulcer and 48 patients (83%) with gastric ulcer. In all 119 cases (78%) were diagnosed by the urease test and 112 cases (74%) by histology. Both methods were used to diagnose 134 of 152 cases (88%) (p < 0.05), these being positive in 97 cases and negative in 39 cases. In 18 of these 39 cases, the breath test was positive. Conclusions: histology and urease test have similar diagnostic values for the identification of H. pylori in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer. Due to its rapid results, the urease test should be the method of choice. However, additional biopsies should be performed, and, when negative, a histological study should be carried out, since a combination of both methods allows a more precise diagnosis.

Palabras clave : Helicobacter pylori; Urease test; Histology; Diagnosis of H. pylori; Upper gastrointestinal bleeding.

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