AIMS: To evaluate the efficacy of culture, histology, CLO-test, Helico-G and Pyloriset tests in diagnosing Helicobacter pylori in the presence or absence of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). METHODS: Of 134 patients studied, 75 had taken NSAIDs. At endoscopy, biopsy specimens were taken for culture, histology, and CLO-test. Blood was also taken for enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Helico-G) and latex agglutination (Pyloriset) tests. RESULTS: The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of histology and CLO-test, compared with culture, ranged from 90% to 97%, regardless of NSAID intake. In the 59 patients not taking NSAIDs Helico-G had a sensitivity of 75% (p < 0.05) and a specificity of 61%; Pyloriset's sensitivity and specificity were, respectively, 63% (p < 0.05) and 67%. In the 75 patients taking NSAIDs the sensitivity of Helico-G was 81% and its specificity 45% (p < 0.05); Pyloriset had a sensitivity of 61% (p < 0.05) and a specificity of 50% (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that H pylori is more reliably diagnosed by culture, histology, and CLO-test than by the serological tests used in this study, especially in patients treated with NSAIDs.
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