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Clinical features and natural history of idiopathic peptic ulcers: a retrospective case-control study.

Objectives: Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is still common worldwide and is characterized by high mortality and morbidity. Following the decline of Helicobacter pylori infection, the detection of idiopathic PUD (IPUD) has become more frequent, making diagnosis and treatment more difficult. In this study, the clinical features and natural history of IPUD were analyzed. Methods: This was a retrospective case‒control study conducted in a tertiary care setting (University of Sassari, Italy). Records of 9,212 patients undergoing upper endoscopy from 2002 to 2018 were analyzed. Following the exclusion of H. pylori , NSAIDs, and unusual PUD causes, the remaining were labelled as IPUD. Cases (IPUD) and controls (PUD negative) were compared, adjusting for several covariates through multivariate logistic regression models. Results: Among 380 PUD, 95 were considered IPUD. The proportion rose over the study period in contrast to the decline of H. pylori -PUD. Factors significantly associated with IPUD, after adjusting for all covariates, were age (OR, 3.520; 95% CI, 1.634 - 7.585), male sex (OR, 3.126; 95% CI, 1.888 - 5.176), hospitalization (OR, 2.968; 95% CI, 1.926 - 4.575), and number of medications (OR, 2.808; 95% CI, 1.178 - 6.735). A clinical history positive for PUD was the major risk associated with IPUD (OR, 3.729; 95% CI, 2.050 - 6.785). Patients with IPUD were treated with the highest proton pump inhibitor (PPI) dose for 40-60 days. Follow up endoscopy showed a cure rate of 97.6%. Conclusion: The relative proportion of IPUD is increasing in our population in contrast to the drop of H. pylori -PUD. Treatment with high-dose PPI, and for a long duration, heals IPUD and protects from recurrence.

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