Objectives: It is uncertain whether eradication of Helicobacter pylori--without a prolonged suppression of acid secretion--is sufficient to allow healing of peptic ulcers. We evaluated whether eradication of H. pylori with no following anti-secretory medication then administered is sufficient for treatment of peptic ulcers. We also looked at the impact of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) use on ulcer relapses.
Methods: The effect of eradication on ulcer healing and relapse rate was analysed in 115 patients, randomly allocated to four treatment groups: (1) quadruple therapy (28); (2) dual therapy (n-30); (3) triple therapy (n=27); and (4) lansoprazole and placebo (n=30). Endoscopic assessment was performed at 0, 8, and 52 weeks.
Results: The ulcer healing rate was 100% [95% confidence interval (CI), 95-100%] in H. pylori-negative and 83% (95% CI, 67-94%) in H. pylori-positive patients (P<0.01). In patients who used NSAIDS or ASA, the healing rates was 100% (95% CI, 73-100%) and 75% (95% CI, 19-99%) in H. pylori-negative (12 patients) and H. pylori-positive patients (four patients) (P = not significant). Ulcer relapses occurred in 5% (95% CI, 1-13%) of H. pylori-negative and in 36% (95% CI, 19-56%) of H. pylori-positive patients (P < 0.01). In H. pylori-negative patients who used NSAIDs or ASA the ulcer relapse rate was 30% (95% CI, 7-65%), whereas the ulcer relapse rate was 2% (95% CI, 0.4-10%) in patients who did not use NSAIDs or ASA (P < 0.05). No difference in ulcer relapse rate in H. pylori-positive patients who used or did not use NSAIDs or ASA was found. The eradication rate of H. pylori was 93% (95% CI, 76-99%) in the quadruple therapy group, 83% (95% CI, 64-94%) in the dual therapy group, 100% (95% CI, 87-100%) in the triple therapy group, and 0% (95% CI, 0-12%) in the lansoprazole and placebo group.
Conclusions: Eradication treatment for H. pylori-positive gastric or duodenal ulcer is sufficient, with no need to follow it with anti-secretory medication. Cure of the infection reduces ulcer relapses in patients who did not use NSAIDs or ASA.