Reliable non-invasive methods for detection of Helicobacter Pylori
) infection are required
to investigate the incidence, transmission, and clearance of infection in childhood. Detecting bacterial
antigens in stool offer an alternative noninvasive diagnostic test. However its accuracy in developing
countries is not well established. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of stool antigen test
for H pylori
in Iranian children with recurrent abdominal pain necessitating endoscopy.
One hundred three children enrolled in this study. Endoscopy and biopsy was done on all patients
providing a criterion standard for validation of the H. pylori
stool antigen (HpSA) tests. The presence of H.
organisms in stool was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a commercially
available polyclonal antibody. HpSA sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative likelihood ratios were
determined with reference to the results of cultures of gastric biopsy.
Of the 103 children tested 41 (39.8%) and 39 (37.8%) were positive for H. pylori
according to the
results of cultures of gastric biopsy and HpSA, respectively. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and
negative likelihood ratios of HpSA were found to be 85%, 93%, 89.7%, and 90%, respectively.
In this pilot study, a low-cost and rapid diagnostic technique, stool antigen test proved to be
highly sensitive and specific for detecting H pylori
infection in children with recurrent abdominal pain. Our
results are comparable to those reported elsewhere in children and demonstrate that the HpSA test can
replace endoscopy and biopsy for detecting H. pylori