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Table of Contents
Vol. 42, No. 1, 1996
Issue release date: 1996
Section title: Clinical Section
Gerontology 1996;42:40–45
(DOI:10.1159/000213769)

Are Hydrogen Breath Tests Valid in the Elderly?

Mac Mahon M.a · Gibbons N.b · Mullins E.d · O’;Moore R.R.c · Keane C.T.b · Walsh J.B.a · Coakley D.a
aMercer’s Institute for Research on Ageing; Departments of bClinical Microbiology and cBiochemistry, St. James’ Hospital, and dDepartment of Statistics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: May 09, 1995
Accepted: July 21, 1995
Published online: April 15, 2009
Issue release date: 1996

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER

Abstract

Hydrogen breath testing (HBT) is frequently used as an alternative to small bowel aspiration in the diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). The role of the glucose HBT was assessed in 30 elderly patients. A positive HBT was recorded in 15 of 20 SIBO cases and 7 of 10 culture negatives (sensitivity 75% and specificity 30%). The correlation coefficients between hydrogen gas (H2) rise and total bacterial count (r = 0.21) and H2 rise and anaerobic count (r = 0) were not significant. Fasting H2 levels were raised in only 4 of the 20 SIBO cases. This study indicates that the HBT is not reliable in the diagnosis of SIBO in the elderly. There was no evidence from the data that different H2 levels or bacterial counts would significantly alter the reliability of the HBT. This work suggests that factors other than small bowel bacteria are involved in the production and expiration of H2 in the elderly, and that these factors need to be considered in the interpretation of this breath test.

© 1996 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Clinical Section

Received: May 09, 1995
Accepted: July 21, 1995
Published online: April 15, 2009
Issue release date: 1996

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 0

ISSN: 0304-324X (Print)
eISSN: 1423-0003 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/GER


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