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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Jun;101(6):1200-8.

Proton pump inhibitor or testing for Helicobacter pylori as the first step for patients presenting with dyspepsia? A cluster-randomized trial.

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Department of Medical Gastroenterology, Odense University Hospital, Odense Denmark.



The optimal approach for management of patients with dyspepsia has not been determined. The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of three strategies for management of dyspepsia: empirical antisecretory therapy, testing for Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), or a combination of the two.


Cluster-randomized trial in general practices. Initial treatment with proton pump inhibitor (PPI) was performed in 222 patients, H. pylori test-and-eradicate in 250 patients, and PPI followed by H. pylori-testing if symptoms improved in 250 patients. Symptoms, quality of life, patient satisfaction, and use of resources were recorded during a 1-yr follow-up.


The prevalence of H. pylori infection was 24%. We found no difference among the three strategies (p=0.16) in terms of the proportion of days without dyspeptic symptoms. After 1 yr gastrointestinal symptom scores and quality-of-life scores had improved significantly and equally in the three groups (p<0.001), but no statistically significant differences were found among the groups. The mean use of endoscopies per patient after 1 yr was higher in the PPI group (0.36 [95% CI 0.30-0.43]) than in the test-and-eradicate group (0.28 [95% CI 0.23-0.34]) and the combination group (0.22 [95% CI 0.17-0.27]), p=0.02. H. pylori-positive patients given eradication therapy had more days without dyspeptic symptoms (p<0.001), used less antisecretory therapy (p<0.01), and were more satisfied (p<0.001) than H. pylori-negative patients.


The strategies based on H. pylori test enjoyed similar symptom resolution, but reduced endoscopic workload and lower 1-yr total costs compared with empirical antisecretory therapy.

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