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TitleScreening for helicobacter pylori
Author(s)Sousa, Jaime Correia de
Thomas, Roger
KeywordsHelicobacter Pylori
Mass Screening
Cost-benefit Aanalysis
Issue date2006
PublisherAssociação Portuguesa dos Médicos de Clínica Geral
Citation"Revista Portuguesa de Clínica Geral". ISSN 0870-7103. 22 (2006) 585-589.
Abstract(s)The aim of this review is to assess whether a screening programme for Helicobacter pylori will be both successful and cost-effective. Method: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and the NHS Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness; MEDLINE; EMBASE; SilverPlatter, Biological Abstracts and Science Citation Index-Expanded. We used the search terms Helicobacter pylori and (diagnos$ or identif$ or find$) and (systematic review$ or meta-anal$), and searched for articles in all languages and limited the search to humans. Evaluation of the Level of Evidence: We used the rating system of the American Family Physician journal: Level A (randomized controlled trial/meta-analysis); Level B (other evidence); and C (consensus/expert opinion). Results: Serological tests: Antibody levels persist in serum for many years and do not permit us to distinguish between past and present infection or to identify treatment failures. Saliva and urine tests: A saliva test had sensitivity of 81% and specificity of 73%. A urine test had sensitivity of 86-89% and specificity of 69-91%. Breath urea tests: The tests have a high sensitivity and specificity but require expensive equipment. Stool tests: showed a high sensitivity and specificity. The European Helicobacter study group recommends either the breath urea or stool antibody tests in the initial diagnosis of H. pylori. Tests for specific gene sequences showed a high sensitivity and specificity. Endoscopy: is invasive, uncomfortable for patients, and expensive. The cost-effectiveness of tests for H. pylori: The better accuracy of the stool and breath tests, despite their greater cost, make them more cost-effective than the serology or near-patient tests. Conclusions: Tests with good sensitivity and specificity are available. The costs of non-invasive diagnostic tests acceptable to patients have been worked out, and the cost-effective dominance of stool and particularly urea breath tests over serological tests has been determined in a systematic review. What remains is to implement and test further the cost-effectiveness of national testing strategies.
AccessOpen access
Appears in Collections:ICVS - Revistas

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