Published online Jul 7, 2005. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i25.3811
Revised: November 1, 2004
Accepted: November 4, 2004
Published online: July 7, 2005
Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including aspirin at any dosage and formulation represent well-established risk factors for the development of uncomplicated and complicated peptic ulcer disease accounting for the majority of such cases. Although the interaction between H pylori and NSAID/aspirin use in the same individuals was questioned in some epidemiological studies, it has now become widely accepted that they are at least independent risk factors for peptic ulcer disease. According to data from randomized intervention trials, naive NSAID users certainly benefit from testing for H pylori infection and, if positive, H pylori eradication therapy prior to the initiation of NSAID. A similar strategy is also suggested for naive aspirin users, although the efficacy of such an approach has not been evaluated yet. Strong data also support that chronic aspirin users with a recent ulcer complication should be tested for H pylori infection and, if positive, receive H pylori eradication therapy after ulcer healing, while they appear to benefit from additional long-term therapy with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). A similar approach is often recommended to chronic aspirin users at a high risk of ulcer complication. H pylori eradication alone does not efficiently protect chronic NSAID users with a recent ulcer complication or those at a high-risk, who certainly should be treated with long-term PPI therapy, but H pylori eradication may be additionally offered even in this setting. In contrast, testing for H pylori or PPI therapy is not recommended for chronic NSAID/aspirin users with no ulcer complications or those at a low risk of complications.