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ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori is the cause of most peptic ulcer disease and a primary risk factor for gastric cancer. Eradication of the organism results in ulcer healing and reduces the risk of ulcer recurrence and complications. Testing and treatment have no clear value in patients with documented nonulcer dyspepsia; however, a test-and-treat strategy is recommended but for patients with undifferentiated dyspepsia who have not undergone endoscopy. In the office setting, initial serology testing is practical and affordable, with endoscopy reserved for use in patients with alarm symptoms for ulcer complications or cancer, or those who do not respond to treatment. Treatment involves 10- to 14-day multidrug regimens including antibiotics and acid suppressants, combined with education about avoidance of other ulcer-causing factors and the need for close follow-up. Follow-up testing (i.e., urea breath or stool antigen test) is recommended for patients who do not respond to therapy or those with a history of ulcer complications or cancer.
Proton Pump Inhibitors: An Update - Article
ABSTRACT: Since their introduction in the late 1980s, proton pump inhibitors have demonstrated gastric acid suppression superior to that of histamine H2-receptor blockers. Proton pump inhibitors have enabled improved treatment of various acid-peptic disorders, including gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug-induced gastropathy. Proton pump inhibitors have minimal side effects and few significant drug interactions, and they are generally considered safe for long-term treatment. The proton pump inhibitors omeprazole, lansoprazole, rabeprazole, and the recently approved esomeprazole appear to have similar efficacy.
Update on Helicobacter pylori Treatment - Article
ABSTRACT: One half of the world's population has Helicobacter pylori infection, with an estimated prevalence of 30 percent in North America. Although it is unclear whether eradication of H. pylori improves symptoms in patients with nonulcer dyspepsia, there is strong evidence that eradication of this bacteria improves healing and reduces the risk of recurrence or rebleeding in patients with duodenal or gastric ulcer. A "test-and-treat" strategy is recommended for most patients with undifferentiated dyspepsia. With this approach, patients undergo a noninvasive test for H. pylori infection and, if positive, are treated with eradication therapy. This strategy reduces the need for antisecretory medications as well as the number of endoscopies. The urea breath test or stool antigen test is recommended. Until recently, the recommended duration of therapy for H. pylori eradication was 10 to 14 days. Shorter courses of treatment (i.e., one to five days) have demonstrated eradication rates of 89 to 95 percent with the potential for greater patient compliance. A one-day treatment course consists of bismuth subsalicylate, amoxicillin, and metronidazole, all given four times with a one-time dose of lansoprazole. In children with documented H. pylori infection, however, all regimens should continue to be prescribed for seven to 14 days until short-course treatment is studied and its effectiveness has been established in this population.
Peptic Ulcer Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Peptic ulcer disease usually occurs in the stomach and proximal duodenum. The predominant causes in the United States are infection with Helicobacter pylori and use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Symptoms of peptic ulcer disease include epigastric discomfort (specifically, pain relieved by food intake or antacids and pain that causes awakening at night or that occurs between meals), loss of appetite, and weight loss. Older patients and patients with alarm symptoms indicating a complication or malignancy should have prompt endoscopy. Patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should discontinue their use. For younger patients with no alarm symptoms, a test-and-treat strategy based on the results of H. pylori testing is recommended. If H. pylori infection is diagnosed, the infection should be eradicated and antisecretory therapy (preferably with a proton pump inhibitor) given for four weeks. Patients with persistent symptoms should be referred for endoscopy. Surgery is indicated if complications develop or if the ulcer is unresponsive to medications. Bleeding is the most common indication for surgery. Administration of proton pump inhibitors and endoscopic therapy control most bleeds. Perforation and gastric outlet obstruction are rare but serious complications. Peritonitis is a surgical emergency requiring patient resuscitation; laparotomy and peritoneal toilet; omental patch placement; and, in selected patients, surgery for ulcer control.
ABSTRACT: More than one third of children complain of abdominal pain lasting two weeks or longer. The diagnostic approach to abdominal pain in children relies heavily on the history provided by the parent and child to direct a step-wise approach to investigation. If the history and physical examination suggest functional abdominal pain, constipation or peptic disease, the response to an empiric course of medical management is of greater value than multiple "exclusionary" investigations. A symptom diary allows the child to play an active role in the diagnostic process. The medical management of constipation, peptic disease and inflammatory bowel disease involves nutritional strategies, pharmacologic intervention and behavior and psychologic support.
Evaluation and Management of Dyspepsia - Article
ABSTRACT: Dyspepsia, often defined as chronic or recurrent discomfort centered in the upper abdomen, can be caused by a variety of conditions. Common etiologies include peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. Serious causes, such as gastric and pancreatic cancers, are rare but must also be considered. Symptoms of possible causes often overlap, which can make initial diagnosis difficult. In many patients, a definite cause is never established. The initial evaluation of patients with dyspepsia includes a thorough history and physical examination, with special attention given to elements that suggest the presence of serious disease. Endoscopy should be performed promptly in patients who have "alarm symptoms" such as melena or anorexia. Optimal management remains controversial in young patients who do not have alarm symptoms. Although management should be individualized, a cost-effective initial approach is to test for Helicobacter pylori and treat the infection if the test is positive. If the H. pylori test is negative, empiric therapy with a gastric acid suppressant or prokinetic agent is recommended. If symptoms persist or recur after six to eight weeks of empiric therapy, endoscopy should be performed.