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    Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) is still difficult to diagnose. Quantitative culture of small intestine aspirate is recommended to be the gold standard. The methane and hydrogen breath tests are easily repeatable, sufficiently sensitive and highly specific for SIBO diagnosis. Our goal is to contrast the diagnostic value of the breath tests with jejunal aspiration cultures. 40 adult outpatients (age < 60) were enrolled in our study. Randomly, within 2 days, both the methane and the hydrogen breath test and jejunal aspiration culture were performed on each patient and the results of both tests were evaluated and contrasted. The jejunal culture was positive (105CFU / mL) in 14/40(35%) subjects, the lactulose breath test (LBT) was positive in 18/40 (45%) subjects, and the glucose breath test (GBT) was positive in 12/40 (30%). The GBT showed good agreement (κ = 0.659) and LBT showed poor agreement (κ = 0.588) with the jejunal aspirate culture. The sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of LBT/GBT were 85.7/71.4%,76.9/92.3%, 66.6/83.3% and 90.9/85.7%, respectively. 35% of patients with suspected SIBO are identified using jejunal aspirate cultures. For the identification of SIBO, GBT is more specific than LBT, but has a lower sensitivity. In individuals with suspected SIBO, the breath test should be initially due to its good agreement with the jejunal aspirate culture. © 2023. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland.


    Shuai Tang, Jia Li, Jinxia Ma, Yi Li, Yuying Li, Jun Wan, Ru Zhang. Comparison of jejunal aspirate culture and methane and hydrogen breath test in the diagnosis of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Irish journal of medical science. 2024 Apr;193(2):699-703

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    PMID: 37725319

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