Background: It is well documented that dyspepsia in patients with peptic ulcer disease (PUD) improves markedly after eradication of Helicobacter pylori, while rarely does it improve in patients with functional dyspepsia. There is a large group of H. pylori-infected patients who do not qualify for either diagnosis, but in whom eradication may be considered. The aim of this study was to compare symptom severity, change in gastrointestinal symptoms 1 year after eradication and satisfaction with therapy between PUD patients and patients with endoscopic diagnoses of gastritis and/or duodenitis (G/D patients).
Methods: The patients were randomized to one of four triple regimens containing ranitidine bismuth and metronidazole, and either oxytetracycline or spiramycine. Eradication was assessed with the 14C-urea breath test. GI symptoms were evaluated using the Gastrointestinal Symptom Rating Scale (GSRS) and the Ulcer Esophagitis Subjective Symptoms Scale (UESS) questionnaires.
Results: One-hundred-and-eighty-three patients were recruited from GI outpatient clinics. Patients with PUD and G/D had similar severity of symptoms before eradication therapy. One year after H. pylori eradication, 99% of the PUD patients and 75% of the G/D patients felt better regarding their main upper GI complaint. Abdominal pain score decreased by 48% as measured by GSRS and by 78% as measured by UESS in the PUD group and by 25% and 47%, respectively, in the G/D group. Reflux symptoms decreased by 41% and 63% in PUD patients and by 28% and 45% in G/D patients; indigestion by 30% and 47% in PUD and by 20% and 34% in G/D; eating discomfort by 60% in PUD and by 35% in G/D. Sleep quality score improved by 68% in PUD and by 41% in NU patients. Constipation decreased by 22% in the PUD group. All these differences in symptoms were highly significant compared to baseline. Diarrhoea was unchanged.
Conclusions: Abdominal pain, reflux symptoms, indigestion and the ability to eat and sleep improved in both PUD and G/D patients 1 year after H. pylori eradication. Chronic diarrhoea was not induced. Abdominal pain improved significantly more in PUD than in G/D patients. Further study of the effect of H.pylori eradication in G/D patients is warranted.