Helicobacter pylori is probably the most common bacterial infection worldwide and the accepted cause of chronic active gastritis. It has a critical role in duodenal ulcer, where the prevalence of infection is 90- 95%. There is a dramatic reduction in the rate of ulcer recurrence after successful eradication of the organism to about 4% per annum compared with up to 80% when the infection persists. What is true for duodenal ulcers is also true for patients with gastric ulcer who are infected with H. pylori. The risk of recurrent ulcer complications with bleeding is virtually abolished following successful eradication of H. pylori; in contrast, the risk of rebleeding is about 33% in patients still harboring the organism. The treatment of H. pylori infection in patients with confirmed peptic ulcer on first presentation or recurrence has been advocated by a Consensus Conference of the National Institutes of Health. The most evaluated regimens include dual therapy with a proton pump inhibitor and either amoxicillin or clarithromycin, and bismuth-based triple therapy with metronidazole and tetracycline. The use of a proton pump inhibitor-containing regimen offers the advantage of rapid symptom relief and the highest rates of duodenal ulcer healing. Moreover, combinations of a proton pump inhibitor and clarithromycin show more predictable and higher eradication rates than amoxicillin combinations. Newer triple therapies with a proton pump inhibitor plus two antibacterial agents given for 7-10 days are being increasingly described and may become the treatment of choice if initial results are confirmed. However, the optimum dosage regimen needs to be established. A new combination of ranitidine bismuth citrate and clarithromycin has also recently been shown to be effective. At this time it is reasonable to consider all patients with confirmed duodenal or gastric ulcer for eradication of H. pylori, and no patient should be considered for elective surgery without first being offered eradication therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||American Journal of Medicine|
|Issue number||5 A|
|Publication status||Published - 1996|
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