INFAI Breath Tests
Breath Testing is a new technique which offers real benefits for both patient and doctor. A range of tests is available from INFAI for gastrointestinal and metabolic diseases, but all of them have features in common which contribute to their safety, efficacy and convenience. Breath tests use natural metabolic substances (metabolites) labelled with a non-radioactive isotope of carbon. While the metabolite used depends on the disease under investigation, all breath tests measure the rate at which the metabolite is broken down in the body, releasing the labelled carbon first into the blood and very rapidly into the breath. The Figure shows an example of a breath test in which the disease causing stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori is detected because it breaks down ¹³C-Urea to ammonia and carbon dioxide. In this example an increase in ¹³CO2 in the breath confirms that the patient is infected with Helicobacter pylori and that eradication therapy is indicated.