[Helicobacter pylori-related diseases: dyspepsia, ulcers and gastric cancer]

Javier P Gisbert
Gastroenterología y Hepatología 2011, 34: 15-26
This article summarizes the main conclusions drawn from the presentations on Helicobacter pylori infection at Digestive Disease Week 2011. In developed countries, the prevalence of H. pylori infection has decreased, but seems to have reached a plateau at a fairly high level. Antibiotic resistance is increasing in several countries. H. pylori eradication does not contribute to the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease or worsen its course. The frequency of idiopathic peptic ulcers seems to be increasing. H. pylori eradication eliminates almost all episodes of peptic ulcer rebleeding; nevertheless, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or H. pylori reinfection can lead to bleeding recurrence. H. pylori-negative patients with peptic ulcer bleeding more frequently have bleeding recurrences and higher mortality. In each particular population, there is a close correlation between the prevalence of H. pylori infection and the incidence of gastric cancer. H. pylori eradication is associated with a higher and faster healing rate of ulcerous lesions caused by endoscopic submucosal dissection. In patients undergoing endoscopic submucosal dissection for early gastric cancer, H. pylori eradication decreases the incidence of metachronous tumors. In a high proportion of cases, H. pylori eradication induces MALT lymphoma regression, and long-term tumoral recurrences are exceptional. Narrow-band imaging allows visualization of the mucous and vascular pattern in H. pylori-infected patients during the endoscopic examination. The electrochemical properties of H. pylori allow these lesions to be rapidly and accurately detected in gastric biopsies. The efficacy of "traditional" triple therapies currently leaves much to be desired. The superiority of "sequential" therapy over the standard triple therapy should be confirmed in distinct environments. The "concomitant" quadruple therapy seems to be as effective as "sequential" therapy, but with the advantage of being simpler. Both the "sequential" and the "concomitant" regimens are relatively effective even when clarithromycin resistance is present. Second-line rescue therapy with levofloxacin for 10 days is effective and is simpler and better tolerated than quadruple therapy. In patients allergic to penicillin, a combination with levofloxacin and clarithromycin is a promising rescue alternative. The new-generation quinolones, such as moxifloxacin and sitafloxacin, could be useful as eradication treatment. After two eradication treatment failures, an empirical third-line rescue therapy may be a valid option in clinical practice. Even after three previous H. pylori eradication failures, an empirical fourth-line rescue treatment with rifabutin may be effective.

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