OBJECTIVES: To determine the reinfection rate of Helicobacter pylori and duodenal ulcer relapse rate in a group of patients followed up long term.
DESIGN: Prospective study.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients were followed up endoscopically at 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after successful H. pylori eradication and duodenal ulcer healing. H. pylori status was determined by culture, rapid urease test, Gram's stain of a fresh tissue smear and histological examination of antral biopsies and rapid urease test and histological examination of corpus biopsies.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Duodenal ulcer healing, H. pylori reinfection.
RESULTS: Thirty-eight patients with duodenal ulcer disease (35 active, 3 healed) had successfully eradicated H. pylori following treatment with omeprazole/amoxycillin (n = 11), omeprazole/amoxycillin/metronidazole (n = 16) and colloidal bismuth subcitrate/ amoxycillin/metronidazole (n = 11). All patients with active duodenal ulcer had healed ulcers at the end of therapy. Thirty-five of 38 patients were seen according to schedule up to 2 years; two patients were seen up to 12 months and one up to 6 months only. Reinfection with H. pylori was not recorded in any of our patients. Shallow duodenal ulcers were noted in three patients at 1-year follow-up, two of whom admitted to taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs); H. pylori status was negative in all three. Subsequent follow-up revealed spontaneous healing of the ulcers in all three patients. At 2 years, one patient whose H. pylori status was negative had recurrence of duodenal ulcer. All of the three patients who defaulted subsequent to follow-up were negative for H. pylori and had healed ulcers on follow-up endoscopy at 6 and 12 months.
CONCLUSION: Reinfection rate with H. pylori was zero in a group of South-East Asian patients who had successfully eradicated the infection. Duodenal ulcer relapse was also low (2.9%) in this group of patients at 2 years.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.