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July 6, 1994

The Acid TestMaking Clinical Sense of the Consensus Conference on Helicobacter pylori

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.

JAMA. 1994;272(1):70-71. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520010082037

Not very long ago, duodenal ulcer was considered a chronic disease of unknown cause. Today, duodenal ulcer recurrences for the most part can be prevented if the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is eradicated from the stomach and duodenum. Although eradication of H pylori markedly reduces duodenal ulcer recurrences as detected endoscopically, there is only equivocal evidence that eradication of H pylori reduces recurrent duodenal ulcer symptoms.1

The recommendations of a National Institutes of Health— appointed consensus panel regarding diagnosis and treatment of H pylori are published in this issue of THE Journal.2 These recommendations can serve as useful guidelines for physicians, but they deserve further comment.

See also p 65.

The panel begins by stating that "nearly all" patients with duodenal ulcer have H pylori gastritis, but then later states that "no patient should be treated for H pylori unless one of the sensitive and specific tests previously discussed

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