Helicobacter Pylori Antibody
Does this test have other names?
What is this test?
This test measures the levels of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) antibodies in your
H. pylori are bacteria that can invade your gut. H. pylori infection is one of the
major causes of peptic ulcer disease. This happens when inflammation caused by the
bacteria affects the mucus coating of your stomach or duodenum, the first section
of your small intestine. This leads to sores called peptic ulcers on this lining.
This test can help your healthcare provider find out whether your peptic ulcers are
caused by H. pylori. If antibodies are present, it may mean that they are there to
fight H. pylori bacteria. Although H. pylori bacteria are a leading cause of peptic
ulcers, these ulcers may also develop from taking too many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
Why do I need this test?
You may need this test if your healthcare provider suspects that you have peptic ulcer
disease. Signs and symptoms include:
Burning sensation in your abdomen
Tenderness in your abdomen
Gnawing pain in your abdomen
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests to look for the actual presence
of the H. pylori bacteria. These tests might include a stool sample test or an endoscopy,
in which a thin tube with a camera on the end is passed down your throat and into
your upper gastrointestinal tract. Using special instruments, your healthcare provider
can then remove a small piece of tissue to look for H. pylori.
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses
to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you
may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare
Normal results are negative, meaning that no H. pylori antibodies were found and that
you don't have an infection with these bacteria.
Positive results mean that H. pylori antibodies were found. You don't necessarily
have an infection with H. pylori, however. H. pylori antibodies may linger in your
body long after the bacteria have been wiped out.
How is this test done?
The test requires a blood sample, which is drawn through a needle from a vein in your
Does this test pose any risks?
Taking a blood sample with a needle carries risks that include bleeding, infection,
bruising, or feeling dizzy. When the needle pricks your arm, you may feel a slight
stinging sensation or pain. Afterward, the site may be slightly sore.
What might affect my test results?
Past infection with H. pylori can affect your results, giving you a false-positive.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows
about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes
medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.