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Lancet. 1994 Feb 26;343(8896):508-10.

Duodenal ulcer healing by eradication of Helicobacter pylori without anti-acid treatment: randomised controlled trial.

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Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin.


Randomised trials have shown that duodenal ulcers treated by H2 blockers heal faster if Helicobacter pylori is eradicated concurrently. It remains unknown whether eradication of H pylori without suppression of acid-secretion, is sufficient to allow healing. 153 patients with H pylori infection and duodenal ulcer were randomised to receive either a 1-week course of bismuth subcitrate, tetracycline, and metronidazole (76), or omeprazole for 4 weeks with the same three-drug regimen for the first week (77). Endoscopy and antral biopsies were done at entry and 4 weeks after treatment. 132 patients were suitable for analysis. Duodenal ulcers healed in 60 (92%; 95% CI 86-100%) patients taking bismuth, tetracycline, and metronidazole compared with 63 (95%; 88-100%) taking omeprazole in addition to the three other drugs. H pylori was eradicated in 61 (94%; 88-100%) who received only three drugs compared with 66 (98%; 96-100%) who received omeprazole as well. Symptoms were reduced more effectively during the first week in patients who received omeprazole (p = 0.003). We conclude that a 1-week regimen of bismuth, tetracycline, and metronidazole for patients with H pylori and duodenal ulcer eradicates the organism and heals the ulcer in most patients. Concurrent administration of omeprazole reduces ulcer pain more rapidly but has no effect on ulcer healing.

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