Test Directory

Helicobacter pylori Breath Test

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Helicobacter pylori Breath Test

13C Urea Breath Test; H. Pylori Urea Breath Test; Helicobacter Pylori Breath Test; Pylori, Helicobactor Breath Test; Ulcer Breath Test; Urea Breath Test; UBT

Test ID
General Information

Useful for:

  • Diagnostic testing for Helicobacter pylori infection in patients suspected to have active H pylori infection

  • Monitoring response to therapy

  • This test is not appropriate for asymptomatic people

  • See Helicobacter pylori Diagnostic Algorithm

Specimen Type

Exhaled Breath

Specimen Requirements

Breath Test Bag

Specimen Collection / Processing Instructions

  • Patient Preparation:

    • Patient should be fasting for 1 hour

    • Patients should not have taken bismuth/Tritec, antibiotics, proton-pump inhibitors (eg, Prilosec, Prevacid, Aciphex, Protonix, and Nexium) or Pepto-Bismol for 2 weeks prior to testing

    • Histamine 2-receptor antagonists (H[2]RAs) such as Pepcid, Tagamet, Axid, or Zantac should be discontinued for 24 to 48 hours before the BreathTek UBT test is administered

  • Carafate (sucralfate) does not interfere with the test. Use of antacids does not affect the accuracy of this assay

  • Supplies: H. Pylori Breath Kit (T375: fees apply)

  • Collection Instructions:

    • Do not collect if patient is younger than 3 years of age

    • Follow instructions included with kit

Required Information

A completed Pediatric UHR Calculation Information card is required for patients between 3 and 17 years old


Ambient: 7 days 

Unacceptable Specimen Conditions

No specimen should be rejected.


  • Testing for Helicobacter pylori is only recommended if treatment is planned

  • For patients with phenylketonuria (PKU), the Pranactin-Citric solution contains phenylalanine (75 mg/dose; for reference, 12 ounces of a typical diet cola contains approximately 80 mg)

  • The patient should not have taken antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or bismuth preparations for 2 weeks prior to the test. If PPIs are used within 2 weeks of BreathTek urea breath test (UBT) testing, false-negative test results may occur. Premature collection time can lead to a false-negative diagnosis for a patient with a marginally positive result

  • If particulate matter is visible in the reconstituted Pranactin-Citric solution after thorough mixing, the solution should not be used

  • The breath test should not be used until 4 weeks or more after the end of treatment for the eradication of H pylori as earlier posttreatment assessment may give false-negative results

  • A correlation between the number of H pylori organisms in the stomach and the breath test result has not been established

  • The safety of using the BreathTek UBT kit during pregnancy and lactation is not established


Infrared Spectrophotometry (SP)

Estimated TAT

1-2 days

Testing Schedule

Monday-Friday, Sunday

CPT Code(s)


Additional Information
Minimum Sample Volume

Breath test bag must be full

Reference Range


Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)