A report card to grade Helicobacter pylori therapy

Helicobacter. 2007 Aug;12(4):275-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1523-5378.2007.00518.x.


Helicobacter pylori causes a serious bacterial infectious disease, and the expectations of therapy should reflect this fact. Increasing antibiotic resistance, especially to clarithromycin, has significantly undermined the effectiveness of legacy triple therapy consisting of a proton pump inhibitor, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin. Current cure rates are consistently below 80% intention-to-treat, the accepted threshold separating acceptable from unacceptable treatment results. Grading clinical studies into effectiveness categories using prespecified criteria would allow clinicians to objectively identify and compare regimens. We offer a therapy report card similar to that used to grade the performance of school children. The intention-to-treat cure rate categories are: F or unacceptable ( 80%), D or poor (81-84%), C or fair (85-89%), B or good (90-95%), and A or excellent (95-100%). The category of "excellent" is based on the cure rates expected with other prevalent bacterial infectious diseases. We propose that only therapies that score "excellent" (grade = A) should be prescribed. Regimens scoring as B or "good" can be used if "excellent" results are not obtainable. In most regions legacy triple therapy should be abandoned as unacceptable. Quadruple therapy and sequential therapy are reasonable alternatives for initial therapy.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Helicobacter Infections / drug therapy*
  • Helicobacter Infections / microbiology
  • Helicobacter pylori / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents