[Helicobacter pylori-related diseases]

Javier P Gisbert
Gastroenterología y Hepatología 2013, 36: 39-50
This article summarizes the main conclusions drawn from the presentations on Helicobacter pylori at Digestive Disease Week 2013. Knowledge of this infection among the general population continues to be extremely limited. H. pylori is the main cause of "aging" of the human stomach. In developed countries, the prevalence of H. pylori infection has decreased but continues to be considerable. In most countries, clarithromycin and metronidazole resistance rates are markedly high. H. pylori eradication improves the symptoms of functional dyspepsia, but only in a minority of patients. The frequency of idiopathic peptic ulcers seems to be rising and their prognosis is worse. Most patients with gastric cancer have, or have had, prior H. pylori infection. The risk of developing preneoplastic lesions depends on the type (strain) of the microorganism. To prevent the development of gastric cancer, eradication therapy should be administered early (before the development of intestinal metaplasia). Among H. pylori-infected patients, those who receive long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitors more frequently develop preneoplastic lesions. In patients who undergo endoscopic resection of early gastric cancer, H. pylori eradication reduces the incidence of metachronous tumors. Eradication therapy induces regression of MALT lymphoma in most patients and tumoral recurrence in the long term is exceptional; eradication is a reasonable option even when H. pylori infection has not been identified in patients with MALT lymphoma. Several diagnostic innovations were presented, such as some polymerase chain reaction techniques for use in gastric biopsy specimens or gastric juice. The efficacy of triple standard therapy is clearly inadequate. The superiority of "sequential" therapy over standard triple therapy has not been definitively established. "Concomitant" therapy is more effective and is simpler than "sequential" therapy. After failure of standard triple therapy, second-line levofloxacin-based schemes for 10 days are effective and are also simpler and better tolerated than bismuth-based quadruple therapy. Levofloxacin-based triple therapy is also a promising alternative after failure of "sequential" and "concomitant" therapies. New-generation quinolones, such as moxifloxacin, could be useful as eradication therapy, especially as rescue therapy. After failure of clarithromycin-based triple therapy, followed by that of levofloxacin-based triple therapy, a bismuth-based quadruple scheme is an acceptable alternative. Even after the failure of 3 eradication therapies, a fourth empirical rescue therapy (with rifabutin) can be effective.

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