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Gastric ulcer breath test: breath sample tubes

Gastric ulcer breath test: breath sample tubes

M490/0026

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Breath test for stomach ulcer. Sample tubes used for the diagnosis of gastric ulcers caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori. During the test, a patient is given a drink containing urea enriched with non-radioactive carbon-13. Helicobacter pylori will break down this urea to form carbon dioxide containing carbon-13. Half an hour after taking the urea-drink, the patient blows into the sample tube. These tubes are then tested for the presence of carbon dioxide containing carbon-13. A positive result indicates the presence of H. pylori and the necessary drugs can then be prescribed to the patient.

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