METHODOLOGY: Breath samples of patients referred to the Gastroenterology Unit, Women's and Children's Hospital, North Adelaide, South Australia, for confirmation of the diagnosis of carbohydrate malabsorption were analysed with the Quintron microlyzer (Quintron Instrument Co., Milwaukee, USA) and the BreatH2 analyser, using the Quintron microlyzer as the gold standard.
RESULTS: Twenty-nine breath H2 tests (BHT) were performed in 29 patients aged 2 months to 61 years. The sensitivity and specificity of the BreatH2 analyser in detecting a positive BHT using the Quintron microlyser as the gold standard were 0.90 and 0.95 with positive and negative predictive values of 0.90 and 0.95, respectively. There was one false positive and one false negative reading. Bland-Altman plots showed a high degree of agreement between the values obtained with two different methods.
CONCLUSIONS: The diagnosis of carbohydrate malabsorption, using a portable breath H2 analyser (BreatH2), achieved an acceptable degree of sensitivity and specificity, enabling it to be used where no alternative is available.