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Diagnostic Tests for Peptic Ulcer

Peptic Ulcer: Diagnostic Tests

The list of diagnostic tests mentioned in various sources as used in the diagnosis of Peptic Ulcer includes:

  • Gastroscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series
  • Barium meal x-ray
  • Blood H pylori test
  • Breath H pylori test
  • Helicobacter pylori stool antigen (HpSA) test
  • Stomach biopsy
  • Tissue H pylori test

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Peptic Ulcer:

Tests and diagnosis discussion for Peptic Ulcer:

To see whether symptoms are caused by an ulcer, the doctor may do an upper gastrointestinal (GI) series or an endoscopy. An upper GI series is an x ray of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The patient drinks a chalky liquid called barium to make these organs and any ulcers show up more clearly on the x ray.

An endoscopy is an exam that uses an endoscope, a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera on the end. The patient is lightly sedated, and the doctor carefully eases the endoscope into the mouth and down the throat to the stomach and duodenum. This allows the doctor to see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The doctor can use the endoscope to take photos of ulcers or remove a tiny piece of tissue to view under a microscope.

H. pylori bacteria

Diagnosing H. pylori

If an ulcer is found, the doctor will test the patient for H. pylori. This test is important because treatment for an ulcer caused by H. pylori is different from that for an ulcer caused by NSAIDs.

H. pylori is diagnosed through blood, breath, stool, and tissue tests. Blood tests are most common. They detect antibodies to H. pylori bacteria. Blood is taken at the doctor's office through a finger stick.

Urea breath tests are mainly used after treatment to see whether it worked, but they can be used in diagnosis too. In the doctor's office, the patient drinks a urea solution that contains a special carbon atom. If H. pylori is present, it breaks down the urea, releasing the carbon. The blood carries the carbon to the lungs, where the patient exhales it. The breath test is 96 percent to 98 percent accurate.

Stool tests may be used to detect H. pylori infection in the patient's fecal matter. Studies have shown that the test, called the Helicobacter pylori stool antigen (HpSA) test, is accurate for diagnosing H. pylori.

Tissue tests are usually done using the biopsy sample that is removed with the endoscope. There are three types:

  • The rapid urease test detects the enzyme urease, which is produced by H. pylori.

  • A histology test allows the doctor to find and examine the actual bacteria.

  • A culture test involves allowing H. pylori to grow in the tissue sample.
In diagnosing H. pylori, blood, breath, and stool tests are often done before tissue tests because they are less invasive. However, blood tests are not used to detect H. pylori following treatment because a patient's blood can show positive results even after H. pylori has been eliminated. (Source: excerpt from H_ pylori and Peptic Ulcer: NIDDK)

Diagnosis of Peptic Ulcer: medical news summaries:

The following medical news items are relevant to diagnosis of Peptic Ulcer:

 

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