Research Article

Randomised controlled trial of short term treatment to eradicate Helicobacter pylori in patients with duodenal ulcer.

BMJ 1992; 305 doi: (Published 29 August 1992) Cite this as: BMJ 1992;305:502
  1. S. W. Hosking,
  2. T. K. Ling,
  3. M. Y. Yung,
  4. A. Cheng,
  5. S. C. Chung,
  6. J. W. Leung,
  7. A. K. Li
  1. Department of Surgery, Prince of Wales Hospital, Chinese University of Hong Kong.


    OBJECTIVE--To determine whether one week's drug treatment is sufficient to eradicate Helicobacter pylori in patients with duodenal ulcer. DESIGN--Single blind, randomised controlled trial. SETTING--Specialised ulcer clinic in a teaching hospital. PATIENTS--155 patients with H pylori and a duodenal ulcer verified endoscopically which had either bled within the previous 24 hours or was causing dyspepsia. INTERVENTIONS--Patients were allocated randomly to receive either omeprazole for four weeks plus bismuth 120 mg, tetracycline 500 mg, and metronidazole 400 mg (all four times a day) for the first week (n = 78), or omeprazole alone for four weeks (n = 77). Further endoscopy was performed four weeks after cessation of all drugs. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Presence or absence of H pylori (by urease testing, microscopy, and culture of antral biopsy specimens), duodenal ulcer, and side effects. RESULTS--Eradication of H pylori occurred in 70 (95%) patients taking the four drugs (95% confidence interval 86% to 97%) compared with three (4%) patients taking omeprazole alone (1% to 11%). Duodenal ulcers were found in four (5%) patients taking the four drugs (2% to 12%) and in 16 (22%) patients taking omeprazole alone (14% to 32%). Mild dizziness was the only reported side effect (six patients in each group) and did not affect compliance. CONCLUSIONS--A one week regimen of bismuth, tetracycline, and metronidazole is safe and effective in eradicating H pylori and reduces the number of duodenal ulcers four weeks after completing treatment.