Aim: To study the efficacy of three pantoprazole-based triple therapy regimens for the eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection and gastric ulcer healing.
Methods: In an open, multi-centre, randomized study, 519 H. pylori-positive patients with active gastric ulcer were randomized to receive pantoprazole (40 mg) (P) and two of three antibiotics: clarithromycin (500 mg) (C), metronidazole (500 mg) (M) or amoxicillin (1000 mg) (A). Triple therapy (PAC, PCM, PAM) was administered twice daily for 7 days, followed by pantoprazole until the ulcer had healed. Antrum and corpus biopsies were taken to determine the pattern of gastritis, to assess the H. pylori status and to determine the strain susceptibility to antibiotics, and from the ulcer margins and base to exclude malignancy. Scores based on the Sydney system were used to categorize the gastritis phenotypically.
Results: The H. pylori eradication rates for the per protocol (intention-to-treat) analysis were 89% (67%) for PAC, 83% (68%) for PCM and 76% (60%) for PAM, with a significant difference between PAC and PAM. Healing rates after 4 weeks were 91% for PAM, 90% for PCM and 88% for PAC (per protocol analysis). The eradication rates were lower in patients in whom strains resistant to any antibiotic used in the triple therapies were detected. Successful eradication [odds ratio, 5.2 (3.3; 8.3)] and the ulcer size (< 15 mm) were significant predictors for healing after 4 weeks. The regimens showed a comparable safety profile and compliance.
Conclusions: Pantoprazole-based triple therapies are effective in the eradication of H. pylori infection in gastric ulcer patients, as reported in previous similar sized studies in duodenal ulcer patients. Successful eradication and an ulcer size of < 15 mm are the best predictors of gastric ulcer healing after 4 weeks.