Gastric Biopsy for H. pylori
Investigations Culture for Helicobacter pylori
Inform lab before sending Yes - 24hr hour advance warning to request Dents transport medium
Specimen type Gastric biopsy in Dents transport medium (obtained from Microbiology )
Ideal time to take specimen H. pylori culture and sensitivities on gastric biopsies should be considered after the first treatment failure if an endoscopy is carried out. Following a second treatment failure, culture and sensitivity should be performed on all cases.
Ideally biopsies should be taken before antimicrobial therapy is begun, however a ‘test and treat’ strategy for the diagnosis of H. pylori is recommend by NICE and therefore most samples referred for culture will be due to treatment failure. A period of at least two weeks should have elapsed since the last dose of antimicrobial therapy before the collection of the specimen.
Gastric biopsy specimens are usually taken from the gastric antrum at endoscopy, and sometimes from the main body of the stomach depending on location of inflammation.
Duodenal biopsies will be taken in cases with duodenal ulcers.
Labelling requirements click here
How to take the specimen Place tissue in DENT broth provided or if no broth available, a sterile universal container with a few drops of saline to prevent drying. If transport is delayed then store at +4°C.
Transport to the laboratory As soon as possible following collection
Test Times Monday to Friday
Turnround 15 days from receipt in Reference Laboratory
Additional information Sent to Public Health England, Gastrointestinal Bacteria Referral Laboratory Reference Laboratory request to avoid sending samples on Fridays
Additional Examination Requests  


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