Helicobacter pylori test-and-eradicate versus prompt endoscopy for management of dyspeptic patients: a randomised trial

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Background Strategies based on screening for Helicobacter pylori to manage dyspeptic patients in primary care have been proposed, but the clinical consequences are unclear. We did a randomised trial to assess the efficacy and safety of a test-and-eradicate strategy compared with prompt endoscopy in the management of patients with dyspepsia. Methods 500 patients presenting in primary care with dyspepsia (greater than or equal to 2 weeks of epigastric pain, no alarm symptoms) were assigned H pylori testing plus eradication therapy or endoscopy. Symptoms, quality of life, patients' satisfaction, and use of resources were recorded during 1 year of follow-up. Findings 250 patients were assigned lest-and-eradicate, and 250 prompt endoscopy. The median age was 45 years and 28 year follow-up was completed by 447 patients. We found no differences in symptoms between the two groups (median registered days without dyspeptic symptoms=0.63 [IQR 0.27-0.81] in the test-and-eradicate group vs 0.67 [0.36-0.86] in the prompt endoscopy group; mean difference 0.04 [950.01-0.10], p=0.12). Nor did we find any difference in quality of life or numbers of sick-leave days, Visits to general practitioners, or hospital admissions. In the test-and-eradicate group, 27 (12 of the patients were dissatisfied with management, compared with eight (4 in the endoscopy group (p=0.013). After 1 year, the use of endoscopies in the test-and-eradicate group was 0.40 times (95.31-0.51) the use in the endoscopy group, the use of H pylori tests increased by a factor of 8.1 (5.7-13.1), the use of eradication treatments increased by a factor of 1.5 (0.9-2.7), and the use of proton-pump inhibitors was 0.89 (0.59-1.33) times the use in the endoscopy group. 43 (91[80-98) of 47 peptic-ulcer patients would have been identified by endoscopy or treated by eradication therapy. Interpretation A H pylori test-and-eradicate strategy is as efficient and safe as prompt endoscopy for management of dyspeptic patients in primary care, although fewer patients are satisfied with their treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number9228
Pages (from-to)455-460
Publication statusPublished - 5. Aug 2000

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