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Dig Dis. 2014;32(3):302-9. doi: 10.1159/000360615. Epub 2014 Apr 10.

Clinical management of Helicobacter pylori: the Latin American perspective.

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Instituto Alfa de Gastroenterologia, Hospital das ClĂ­nicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil.


In most South American countries, Helicobacter pylori infection prevalence is high, affecting over 70% in populations with precarious living conditions. It is worth pointing out that there is initial evidence of a decline in prevalence of H. pylori infection at least in some more privileged fragments of the population. It is estimated that gastric cancer, the main clinical sequela of H. pylori infection, has an average incidence rate of 12.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (8.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for women and 17.3 cases per 100,000 for men) in the region. Classical triple therapy [proton pump inhibitor (PPI), amoxicillin and clarithromycin] is still the most used regimen with eradication rates around 80%. The rates of resistance to clarithromycin range from 2 to 24%. Recurrence rates of the infection are described as 2.9% in Argentina, 4.2% in Chile, 2-7% in Brazil, and 11.5% in a trial involving 7 Latin American countries. After failure of clarithromycin-containing regimens, second- and third-line therapies using PPI, amoxicillin and levofloxacin and quadruple therapy with PPI, colloidal bismuth subcitrate, tetracycline hydrochloride and metronidazole are recommended. Due to the high rates of primary resistance to metronidazole in the Latin American countries, use of the quadruple therapy, replacing metronidazole for furazolidone, is a frequent option. Rescue triple therapy regimens using furazolidone in association with levofloxacin and PPI have also been used. Most recommended rescue therapies reach eradication rates close to 80%.

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