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March 2010

Best Tests

Investigating the Gut: Inflammatory bowel disease - the role of faecal calprotectin

Clinical assessment of intestinal inflammation can be problematic. Faecal calprotectin can be useful in differentiating between IBS and IBD, but it is not funded or widely available. View Article

Investigating the Gut: Pernicious anaemia

There are a number of causes of low vitamin B12 levels with pernicious anaemia being among the most important to identify. Parietal cell and intrinsic factor antibodies have an important role to play when investigating the possibility of pernicious anaemia. View Article

Investigating the Gut: Helicobacter pylori

A more recent article has been published on this topic: click here

The choice of test for initial testing for H. pylori, is determined by prevalence. In areas where the local prevalence is >30%, serology tests are best. In areas of low prevalence, stool antigen testing is the better option.
View Article

Investigating the Gut: Coeliac disease

Tissue transglutaminase antibodies are the most useful preliminary step for testing people with a clinical picture suggestive of coeliac disease. View Article

Investigating the Gut: Steatorrhoea

In the past, the faecal fat test was sometimes used to aid the diagnosis of steatorrhoea. This practice is no longer recommended. There are other tests available that can provide more valuable information. View Article

Investigating the Gut: Lactose intolerance

The role of laboratory tests in diagnosing lactose intolerance in primary care is limited. In most cases the diagnosis can be made on clinical grounds and by a trial of a lactose-free diet. View Article

Quiz feedback: Troponin & Urea Testing

This quiz feedback provides an opportunity to revisit the last Best Tests document and accompanying quiz which focused on the role of troponin testing in primary care, and provided an update on whether we should still be measuring urea View Article