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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Sep 1;28(5):534-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03784.x. Epub 2008 Jun 27.

Meta-analysis: Helicobacter pylori'test and treat' compared with empirical acid suppression for managing dyspepsia.

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Division of Gastroenterology, McMaster University, Health Sciences Centre, Hamilton, ON, Canada.



Which of Helicobacter pylori'test and treat' or empirical acid suppression should be preferred for the initial management of uncomplicated dyspepsia is controversial. Aim To conduct an individual patient data meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of 'test and treat' vs. empirical acid suppression in adults with uncomplicated dyspepsia in primary care.


Investigators provided original data sets for analysis. Effect of management strategy on symptom status and dyspepsia-related resource use at 12-month follow-up was examined by pooling symptom and cost data to obtain relative risk (RR) of remaining symptomatic at 12 months and weighted mean difference (WMD) in costs between the two strategies with 95% confidence intervals (CI).


We identified three eligible RCTs containing 1547 patients, 791 (51%) of whom were assigned to 'test and treat'. There was no difference detected in symptom-cure at 12 months (RR = 0.99; 95% CI: 0.95-1.03). There was a nonsignificant trend towards cost-savings with 'test and treat' (WMD in costs = - 28.91 pound; 95% CI: - 68.48 pound to 10.65 pound).


There was little difference in symptom-resolution or costs between the two strategies. A combination of patient and physician preference should determine the initial approach to the management of uncomplicated dyspepsia.

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