[Diseases linked to Helicobacter pylori infection]

Javier P Gisbert
Gastroenterología y Hepatología 2014, 37 Suppl 3: 40-52
Below is a summary of the main conclusions that came from reports presented at this year's Digestive Disease Week (2014) relating to Helicobacter pylori infection. Despite the undeniable decline of the infection's frequency, in the near future, developed countries--or at least some sub-populations--will continue to have a significant prevalence of the infection. Clarithromycin, metronidazole and quinolone resistance rates are considerably high in most countries and these rates are on the rise. The eradication of H. pylori improves symptoms of functional dyspepsia, although only in a minority of patients; adding antidepressants to eradication therapy could improve long-term response. In patients who were admitted with gastrointestinal bleeding from peptic ulcers, it is necessary to thoroughly study the presence of H. pylori infection and administer eradication therapy as early as possible. Eradication of H. pylori in patients undergoing endoscopic resection of early-stage gastric cancer reduces incidence of metachronous tumors. We have some diagnostic innovations, such as carrying out various techniques--a rapid urease test, culture or PCR--based on gastric samples obtained by scraping the mucosa. The effectiveness of conventional triple therapy is clearly insufficient and continues to decline. The superiority of sequential therapy over conventional triple therapies has not been definitively established. Concomitant therapy is simpler and more effective than sequential therapy. Optimized concomitant therapy (with high doses of proton-pump inhibitors [PPI] and over 14 days) is highly effective, more so than standard concomitant therapy. For patients who are allergic to penicillin, 2 treatment options were essentially described: PPI-clarithromycin-metronidazole (clarithromycin-sensitive strains) and quadruple therapy with bismuth (when the bacterial sensitivity is unknown). If conventional triple therapy fails, second-line therapy with levofloxacin is effective and is also easier and better tolerated than quadruple therapy with bismuth. Triple therapy with levofloxacin is also a promising alternative if sequential or concomitant therapy fails. New-generation quinolones, such as moxifloxacin, could be useful as part of rescue eradication therapy. Even after 3 eradication therapies have failed, a fourth empirical rescue therapy (with rifabutin) could be effective. The eradication of H. pylori can finally be obtained in the vast majority of patients by using a rescue strategy of up to 4 consecutive empirical therapies, without conducting bacterial cultures.

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