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Helicobacter pylori
Pathology and Diagnostic Strategies

James Versalovic MD, PhD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/5DTF5HT7NPLNA6J5 403-412 First published online: 1 March 2003


Helicobacter pylori represents one of the most common and medically prominent infections worldwide. Infection with this microaerobic, gram-negative bacterium has been established as an etiologic factor in the development of peptic ulcer disease. In addition, H pylori infection has been associated firmly with the development of gastric neoplasia, including gastric adenocarcinomas and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphomas. Effective antimicrobial treatment depends on sensitive and accurate diagnostic approaches. This review article discusses invasive and noninvasive strategies for diagnosis of H pylori infection. Invasive methods requiring endoscopic evaluation include bacteriologic culture and susceptibility testing, histopathologic studies, molecular diagnostics, and rapid urease testing. Noninvasive approaches include fecal antigen detection, serologic testing, and urea breath testing.

Key Words:
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Gastritis
  • Gastric adenocarcinoma
  • Gastric cancer
  • Histology
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • MALT lymphoma
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Urease testing
  • Serology