Glucose Tolerance Tests

Appointments can be made via Diabetes Centre on 0121 424 0234.  A service is available at Solihull - for information contact Laboratory Reception at Solihull on 0121 424 5531 / 0121 424 5526.

Lipid Clinic

Appointments to attend the lipid clinic should be made by letter to Dr A F Jones, Laboratory Medicine. Enquiries via the secretary on 0121 424 0199.

Breath Tests (Tests Done at Good Hope Hospital)

The Laboratory routinely offers the following 'Breath Tests' :
1. 13Carbon-Urea Test - Helicobacter pylori Investigation.
2. Hydrogen Breath Test. Two Types of Hydrogen breath tests available are:

  • Lactose Tolerance Test
  • Glucose Hydrogen Breath Test

13Carbon-Urea Test - see Helicobacter pylori investigation

This test is for patients being investigated to either diagnose or confirm eradication of the H.pylori infection. The 13Carbon Urea test is safe as it uses a non-radioactive label, is well tolerated by patients, and the procedure can be completed within 30 minutes. Each patient is provided with a "Patient Information Leaflet" giving straight-forward information about the test, at the same time as the appointment letter is sent out. A copy of this leaflet is available, on request.

Lactose Tolerance Test

Patients can present with a variety of GI symptoms due to absolute or relative lactase deficiency. Lactose is a ubiquitous part of the diet and therefore patients can still have symptoms even if they have eliminated milk from their diet. The test is safe, and takes approximately 2.5 hours to perform. The test is based on the principle that if the patient has appropriate amounts of lactase in the GI Tract then Lactose will be split into Glucose and Galactose and absorbed into the blood stream. However, if insufficient Lactase is present, bacterial action will metabolise the Lactose anaerobically to produce hydrogen. The hydrogen is taken in the blood stream to the lungs and expired. The levels of hydrogen measured are of the order of 1 to 50 parts per million. A simple sampling device is used to collect the breath hydrogen samples. This test is very well tolerated by patients.

Glucose Hydrogen Breath Test

Patient suspected of having bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine are tested by the measurement of breath hydrogen. Glucose is used as a fermentable substrate by pathologically high levels of small bowel bacteria. The hydrogen  released by the fermentation is rapidly absorbed and expired in the breath. An increase in breath hydrogen >12 parts per million above the fasting level is indicative of bacterial overgrowth. This takes approximately 3 hours to perform.

Metabolic Clinics (Tests Performed at Good Hope Hospital)

The following protocols for common function tests are available :

  • Arginine & Clonidine Provocation Test for Growth Hormone Deficiency
  • Creatinine Clearance
  • Urea Breath test for investigation of Helicobacter pylori infection
  • CRH Test
  • Dexamethasone Suppression Test (low dose, High dose and overnight)
  • Glucose Tolerance Test (for suspected diabetes or acromegaly)
  • GnRH Test
  • Mixed meal tolerance test
  • Synacthen Stimulation Test (short).
  • Water deprivation test

All Function Tests are carried out in the Function Test Room in the Treatment Center (room B22), Good Hope Hospital on a Friday morning clinic. Patients are sent a location map when arrangements are made for Function Tests. If a Protocol is required, or any information or advice about the tests, please contact Dr David Kennedy or Jessie Raju on ext 47254.

biochemistry, clinical advice

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Protection of Personal Information – Laboratory Medicine comply with the Trust Data Protection Policy and have procedures in place to allow the Directorate and it’s employees to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 and associated best practice and guidance.

The Trust Laboratories at Heartlands Hospital, Good Hope Hospital and Solihull Hospital were awarded UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accreditation to the internationally recognised ISO 15189 standard in May 2015. For a list of accredited tests and other information please visit the test database
Tests not appearing on this scope are either under consideration or in the process of accreditation and so currently remain outside of our scope of accreditation. However, these tests have been validated to the same high standard as accredited tests and are performed by the same trained and competent staff.

For further information contact Louise Fallon, Quality Manager, 0121 424 1235

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