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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2004 June;50(2):125-34

language: Italian

The diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection: guidelines from the Maastricht 2-2000 Consensus Report

Pellicano R., Fagoonee S., Palestro G., Rizzetto M., Figura N., Ponzetto A.


The European Helicobacter pylori Study Group (EHPSG), during the Maastricht 2-2000 Work-shop, revised and updated the original guidelines on the management of Helico-bacter pylori (H. pylori) infection. The present review focuses on the diagnostic approach for patients referred to the primary care as well as to the specialist. Currently, two diagnostic methods can be used to detect H. pylori: invasive (urease test, histological detection, culture, polymerase chain reaction, smear examination, string test) or non-invasive (serology, urea breath test, antigen stool assay, ''doctor's tests'') tests. These methods vary in their sensitivity and specificity, and the choice depends on the situation, for example, whether the aim is to detect infection or the success of eradication treatment. Urea breath test (UBT) and antigen stool assay are recommended from EHPSG in patients without alarm symptoms or under 45 years of age, at low risk of malignancy in the ''test and treat strategy''. Confirmation of H. pylori eradication following treatment should be tested by UBT; a stool antigen assay is the alternative if the former is not available. Important added value can be gained from other tests: histology allows evaluation of the status of the mucosa while culture allows strain typing and tests for antibiotic susceptibility.

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