Helicobacter pylori serology testing is a useful diagnostic screening tool for symptomatic inner city children

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17 Scopus citations


Aim: This study assessed the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) serum antibody test as a diagnostic screening tool in symptomatic inner city children. Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients aged one to 18 years who were referred to our paediatric gastroenterology department from 2009 to 2013. We included all patients who had H. pylori serum antibodies and/or faecal antigens who underwent esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) for histology, with or without a gastric tissue rapid urease test. Results: A total of 395 patients had EGDs carried out to evaluate epigastric pain, heartburn and nausea or vomiting, and their overall socio-economic Z-score was −2.62. The histology was positive for H. pylori infection in 52 of 395 patients (13%), and epigastric pain was documented in 45 of these 52 patients (87%). Compared to histology, the serum H. pylori antibody test had a sensitivity of 88.4% and a specificity of 93.4%. The tissue rapid urease test and faecal antigen test had sensitivities of 89.3% and 55.6% and specificities of 89.9% and 98.9%, respectively. Conclusion: The serum H. pylori antibody test had high sensitivity and specificity, and it was a good diagnostic screening tool in our study. Epigastric pain was strongly associated with a current H. pylori infection in our population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-477
Number of pages8
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Children
  • Epigastric pain
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Sensitivity
  • Specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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