International survey on Helicobacter pylori testing in patients with immune thrombocytopenia: Communication of the platelet immunology scientific and standardization committee
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Essentials When to test and treat H pylori among patients with ITP is controversial. We report the results of an international survey administered to physicians with experience treating ITP across 39 countries. The decision to test for H pylori was influenced by country, country of origin, and concomitant gastrointestinal symptoms. Testing and treating for H pylori among patients with ITP varied across geographic regions. ABSTRACT: Background Investigations for patients suspected of immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) lack standardization. A controversial issue is whether such patients should be tested for Helicobacter pylori, a known cause of secondary ITP. Objectives This Scientific and Standardization Committee Communication reports the results of an international survey to describe patterns of practice with respect to screening and treatment of H pylori among patients with ITP. Patients/Methods A 17-item scenario-based questionnaire was delivered to hematologists in countries across the world. The questionnaire was pilot tested before use. We used snowball sampling and a contact list of physicians from the Platelet Disorders Support Association to identify survey respondents. Data were analyzed descriptively. Results A total of 186 respondents from 39 countries completed the survey. Response rate from the snowball sample was 53.6%. Twenty-nine percent (n = 55) of respondents always tested ITP patients for H pylori, and 53% (n = 98) sometimes tested. Of the 37 respondents from Asia and the Middle East, 51.4% (n = 19) always tested for H pylori for the stated reasons of high local prevalence and perceived benefit of treatment on platelet count levels. Respondents were more likely to test patients who were from Asia (145/177, 80%) and who had concomitant gastrointestinal symptoms (133/183, 72%). For eradication therapy, 71 of 118 (60.2%) respondents used the combination of a proton pump inhibitor, clarithromycin, and amoxicillin for 14 days. Conclusions This international survey showed that testing for H pylori was most common in Asia and in patients from Asia. Testing and treating practices varied across geographic regions.
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