Sniff out ulcers

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Section: MEDICAL-CARE NEWS
It's finally here! The Meretek UBT Breath Test--the first of its kind--should revolutionize the way ulcers are detected. Now, instead of enduring hospital visits, x-rays or tubes stuck down your throat, all you have to do is drink a special liquid and blow into a tube.

"This breath-test kit can, with 95% accuracy, detect the most common cause of ulcers--the H. pylori bacteria," says Mae Go, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. This high success rate virtually guarantees the test will replace the current gold standard for ulcer detection: the more costly and invasive endoscopy with stomach biopsy (a tube is inserted into the stomach and a piece of stomach lining removed for analysis). It does not, however, detect ulcers due to other causes, like NSAIDs.

The whole test takes 30 minutes, costs about one-third to one-fifth the price of an endoscopy and can be done in any doctor's office. If the results, available in a day or two, come back positive, a two-week course of antibiotics usually eliminates the bacteria, allowing the ulcer to heal. For more information, call 1-888-637-3835.

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