Testing for Helicobacter pylori

MYSTERY remains as to how people acquire the Gram-negative bacterium H. pylori.  

Most infected people remain asymptomatic, but about 20% will experience a variety of symptoms such as bloating, upper gastric discomfort and nausea/vomiting. Chronic gastritis and duodenitis can lead to the development of ulcers and, rarely, certain stomach cancers.1,2,3

Eradicating H. pylori is the primary treatment for stable gastric or duodenal ulcers, however consider mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma when non-ulcerative dyspepsia occurs.3-7 For people who have undergone early-stage gastric carcinoma resection, and close relatives of patients with confirmed gastric carcinoma, test for H. pylori and treat if detected.3-7

Routine testing for H. pylori is not indicated in patients with GORD, unless on long-term treatment with PPIs, nor is testing indicated in extra-intestinal disease.3-7 Refer children in whom H. pylori is