American Society for Clinical Pathology
September 14, 2016
Do not request serology for H. pylori. Use the stool antigen or breath tests instead.
Serologic evaluation of patients to determine the presence/absence of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is no longer considered clinically useful. Alternative noninvasive testing methods (e.g., the urea breath test and stool antigen test) exist for detecting the presence of the bacteria and have demonstrated higher clinical utility, sensitivity, and specificity. Additionally, both the American College of Gastroenterology and the American Gastroenterology Association recommend either the breath or stool antigen tests as the preferred testing modalities for active H. pylori infection. Finally, several laboratories have dropped the serological test from their menus, and many insurance providers are no longer reimbursing patients for serologic testing.