Korean J Intern Med.  2018 Sep;33(5):893-901. 10.3904/kjim.2016.353.

Characteristics of Helicobacter pylori-seropositive subjects according to the stool antigen test findings: a prospective study

  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sunyoung@kuh.ac.kr


In countries with a higher risk of gastric atrophic gastritis, noninvasive tests are helpful for a more reliable diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of seropositive subjects according to their stool H. pylori antigen test, serum pepsinogen (PG) assay, and endoscopic findings.
Consecutive subjects who visited Konkuk University Medical Center for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy for a regular check-up were included in a prospective setting if the serum anti-H. pylori immunoglobulin G assay was positive. A H. pylori antigen stool test was measured using a stool H. pylori antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit on the same day as a serum PG assay and endoscopy.
Of 318 seropositive subjects, 256 (80.5%) showed positive stool test findings. Subjects with a negative stool test result showed lower serum PG I (p < 0.001) and PG II (p < 0.001) levels and higher PG I/II ratio (p < 0.001) than those with a positive stool test. Chronic atrophic gastritis was more common in the positive stool test group than the negative stool test group on endoscopic finding (p = 0.009). A higher serum PG I level (p = 0.001) and a lower serum PG I/II ratio (p = 0.001) were independent risk factors for the presence of H. pylori antigen in stool.
A high serum PG level denotes an ongoing current H. pylori infection with positive stool H. pylori antigen test findings. Seropositive subjects with increased gastric secreting ability tend to have H. pylori in their fecal material as reflected by a positive stool H. pylori antigen test finding.


Helicobacter pylori; Serology; Stool; Pepsinogen; Endoscopy
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