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Could test preparation & interpretation impact hydrogen-methane breath testing results? A survey of current practices

Erdrich, S, Hawrelak, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-7436-9666, Myers, SP and Harnett, JE 2020 , 'Could test preparation & interpretation impact hydrogen-methane breath testing results? A survey of current practices' , Advances in Integrative Medicine, vol. 7, no. 3 , pp. 163-166 , doi:

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Background: Hydrogen-methane breath testing is widely used in both gastroenterology andcomplementary therapies practice, yet current guidelines do not detail preparatory oral hygiene, norprovide standards for basal gas levels.Aims: To review and compare a range of instructions for oral hygiene prior to hydrogen-methane breathtesting provided by facilities offering hydrogen-methane breath testing services; and to investigatelaboratory interpretation of basal gas values and describe similarities, differences and management.Results: Twenty-five laboratories from six countries provided information regarding breath testingpreparation. In practice, there is a lack of uniformity in instructions for oral hygiene prior to breathtesting, and where instructions exist, little or no attention is given to adherence. A wide variance inaccepted norms for basal gases exists between centres, which may impact on whether testingcommences or not. It remains unknown whether elevation at baseline negates test results or shouldindicate deferring the test.Conclusion: There is no consensus on management of elevated basal gas levels. To improve the reliabilityof diagnostic results obtained from breath testing there is a pressing need for clarification of the impact ofthe role of oral hygiene on results, which should guide standardisation of instructions to includepreparation of the oral cavity.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Erdrich, S and Hawrelak, JA and Myers, SP and Harnett, JE
Keywords: breath testing, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, oral hygiene, oral bacteria, clinical guidelines
Journal or Publication Title: Advances in Integrative Medicine
Publisher: Elsevier BV
ISSN: 2212-9588
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2020 Published by Elsevier Ltd

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