Background & aims: A hypothesis suggesting that profound acid inhibition therapy facilitates and hastens the development of gastric glandular atrophy in patients infected with Helicobacter pylori was investigated in this randomized study comparing omeprazole therapy with antireflux surgery (ARS) for chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Methods: Patients with esophagitis and/or chronic GERD were enrolled; 155 patients were randomized to ARS and 155 to long-term omeprazole therapy. Baseline data were obtained and repeated after 3 years in 131 ARS patients and in 139 omeprazole-treated patients. Histopathologic status of the oxyntic mucosa was assessed according to the Sydney system.
Results: Forty omeprazole-treated patients were infected with H. pylori compared with 53 in the ARS group. Basal gastrin levels were significantly higher in H. pylori-infected patients, particularly in the omeprazole group. No further increases in serum gastrin levels were observed during 3 years. Despite 3 years of therapy, only slight changes were found in the prevalence of inflammation in the corpus mucosa of H. pylori-infected subjects. A slow progression of gastric glandular atrophy was observed in these patients irrespective of therapy with no obvious difference between treatment regimens. Intestinal metaplasia (all of type I) was only exceptionally observed with no difference between the treatment arms.
Conclusions: Acid-suppressive therapy in the form of omeprazole maintained for 3 years facilitates neither the development of gastric glandular atrophy of the corpus mucosa nor the occurrence of intestinal metaplasia in H. pylori-infected GERD patients.