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An Overview On H. Pylori Stool Antigen Test

Submitted by Nick on October 19, 2012

Helicobacter pylori sounds like a complicated disease. In fact, this is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation in the stomach and duodenum. This infection also usually leads to peptic ulcers (stomach ulcers) or even stomach cancer.

Symptoms To Know Before Conducting a H. pylori Stool Antigen Test

Generally, the first signs of unease starts when a person suffers from intermittent abdominal pains. This is among the early symptoms of infection. Although, it's normal to treat this pain with antacids, if you notice that the antacids aren't effective, it's best to consult the doctor.

When doctors suspect h. pylori infection in the stomach, they have several tests that they can administer to allay or confirm their suspicions. These include endoscopy, upper GI series test, blood test, stool test, breath and tissue test.

Endoscopy for Bacterial Infection

Now, an endoscopy, upper GI series test as well as tissue test involves sticking the endoscope down the mouth through the tongue, into the stomach and photographing, x-raying the esophagus and stomach lining. In case of tissue test, the endoscope extracts a tiny tissue. These are invasive examinations that are uncomfortable for the patient and not conclusive for the doctor.

On the other hand, there are non-invasive tests like blood, stool and breath tests and the most accurate one among these is the stool test, medically referred to as the helicobacter pylori stool antigen test.

According to research, the HpSA has an accuracy rate of more than ninety percent when diagnosing the presence of H. pylori bacteria in the fecal samples. This test is closely followed by the Urea breath test and the blood test.

Stool Antigen Test

Stool antigen tests, simply put, are stool samples taken from the patient. In these samples, the doctor tries to find out if there are substances that can enable the immune system to fight the H.pylori bacteria. If the substances are lacking or are not present, it indicates the presence of the bacterial infection. On the other hand, presence of the immune boosting substance is an indication that there is no infection.

Most importantly, this H. pylori infection is said to be a common bacterial infection that occurs to men and women alike worldwide. In such a scenario, administering invasive tests like endoscopy is cumbersome and expensive, not to mention the fact that there could be countries where the equipment to conduct tests may not be available. A stool antigen test, on the other hand, is easy to administer, can be made available worldwide and is a lot more cost effective. All these factors make H. pylori stool antigen test a preferred and recommended method in testing for a helicobacter pylori infection.

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