Published online Apr 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i15.2398
Revised: July 20, 2005
Accepted: August 26, 2005
Published online: April 21, 2006
AIM: To compare peptic ulcer prevalence in patients referred for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in two Italian hospitals in pre-Helicobacter era and ten years after the progressive diffusion of eradication therapy.
METHODS: We checked all the endoscopic examinations consecutively performed in the Gastroenterology Unit of Padova during 1986-1987 and 1995-1996, and in the Gastroenterology Unit of Parma during 1992 and 2002. Chi Square test was used for statistic analysis.
RESULTS: Data from both the endoscopic centers showed a statistically significant decrease in the prevalence of ulcers: from 12.7% to 6.3% (P < 0.001) in Padova and from 15.6% to 12% (P < 0.001) in Parma. The decrease was significant both for duodenal (from 8.8% to 4.8%, P < 0.001) and gastric ulcer (3.9% to 1.5%, P < 0.001) in Padova, and only for duodenal ulcer in Parma (9.2% to 6.1%, P < 0.001; gastric ulcer: 6.3% to 5.8%, NS).
CONCLUSION: Ten years of extensive Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) eradication in symptomatic patients led to a significant reduction in peptic ulcer prevalence. This reduction was particularly evident in Padova, where a project for the sensibilization of H pylori eradication among general practioners was carried out between 1990 and 1992. Should our hypothesis be true, H pylori eradication might in the future lead to peptic ulcer as a rare endoscopic finding.