Helicobacter pylori Urea Breath Test

CPT: 83013
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Test Details


  • Ubit
  • Urea Breath Test

Test Includes

Analysis of pre- and postbreath samples to detect 13CO2


The urea breath test can be used to aid in the diagnosis of H pylori infection. The test can also be used to assess therapy when it is administered more than a month after completion of therapy.


IR (infrared) spectroscopy to assess the presence of 13CO2

Reference Interval


Additional Information

The present standard of care includes testing for and treatment of Helicobacter pylori in patients with documented ulcer disease or recurrent dyspepsia. Although serologic assays have been widely used for the diagnosis of H pylori, the increasing availability of direct tests in the form of stool antigen and urea breath test provide diagnostic alternatives with higher positive predictive values. Use of “direct” tests leads to a reduction in unnecessary treatment, which is important because of the continuing concern regarding antimicrobial treatment and the emergence of antibiotic resistance. These tests each have the added feature of being able to be used as a test of cure when administered a month or more after completion of eradication therapy.

Specimen Requirements


Breath samples pre- and post-ingestion of fruit-flavored powder solution, containing 13C-urea diagnostic component from adult patients.


One pre- and one post-ingestion breath sample from adult patients.


One blue sample bag labeled “baseline” and one "postdose" (pink or gray) sample bag

Patient Preparation

The patient should fast for at least one hour prior to testing. The patient should not take antimicrobials, proton pump inhibitors, or bismuth preparations within two weeks prior to testing. Note: Solution contains phenylalanine. Phenylketonurics should be warned.


Blue sample bag (baseline) must be collected as follows:

• Remove the blue breath collection bag from the kit.

• Remove the pulloff cap from mouthpiece of the breath collection bag.

• Instruct the patient to breathe normally, then take a deep breath, pause holding their breath for a full second (counting one, one thousand) then exhale into the mouthpiece of the bag.

• Replace the cap in the mouth piece of the bag.

Prepare the fruit-flavored powder solution, containing 13C-urea diagnostic component as detailed in the kit instructions

Postdose sample bag (pink or gray) is collected as follows:

• Instruct the patient to drink all the solution without “rinsing” mouth before swallowing.

• Have the patient sit quietly for 15 minutes. Set timer for 15 minutes.

• After 15 minutes, collect the pink or gray sample bag as outlined for the baseline specimen above.

All sample bags must be labeled according to LabCorp specimen labeling policies.

Storage Instructions

Maintain specimen at room temperature.

Causes for Rejection

Prolonged transport more than seven days; specimens collected from persons younger than 18 years of age (see Special Instructions)

Clinical Information

Special Instructions

This test can only be performed on adult patients. For pediatric patients between the ages of 3 and 17, order Helicobacter pylori Urea Breath Test, Pediatric [180840].


Bravo LE, Realpe JL, Campo C, Mera R, Correa P. Effects of acid suppression and bismuth medications on the performance of diagnostic tests for Helicobacter pylori infection. Am J Gastroent. 1999 Sep; 94(9):2380-2383. 10483995
Chey WD, Fendrick AM. Noninvasive Helicobacter pylori testing for the "test-and-treat" strategy: A decision analysis to assess the effect of past infection on test choice. Arch Int Med. 2001 Sep 24; 161(17):2129-2132. 11570943
Childs S, Roberts A, Meineche-Schmidt V, et al. The management of Helicobacter pylori infection in primary care. Fam Pract. 2000; 17(Suppl 2):S6-11. 10960429
NIH Consensus Conference. Helicobacter pylori in peptic ulcer disease. NIH Consensus Development Panel on Helicobacter pylori in Peptic Ulcer Disease. JAMA. 1994 Jul 6; 272:65-69. 8007082


Order Code Order Code Name Order Loinc Result Code Result Code Name UofM Result LOINC
180836 H. pylori Breath Test 29891-9 180836 H. pylori Breath Test 29891-9
Reflex Table for H. pylori Breath Test
Order Code Order Name Result Code Result Name UofM Result LOINC
Reflex 1 180843 H. pylori Breath Test 180843 H. pylori Breath Test 29891-9

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