Peptic ulcer disease today Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Over the past few decades, since the introduction of histamine H(2)-receptor antagonists, proton-pump inhibitors, cyclo-oxygenase-2-selective anti-inflammatory drugs (coxibs), and eradication of Helicobacter pylori infection, the incidence of peptic ulcer disease and ulcer complications has decreased. There has, however, been an increase in ulcer bleeding, especially in elderly patients. At present, there are several management issues that need to be solved: how to manage H. pylori infection when eradication failure rates are high; how best to prevent ulcers developing and recurring in nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and aspirin users; and how to treat non-NSAID, non-H. pylori-associated peptic ulcers. Looking for H. pylori infection, the overt or surreptitious use of NSAIDs and/or aspirin, and the possibility of an acid hypersecretory state are important diagnostic considerations that determine the therapeutic approach. Combined treatment with antisecretory therapy and antibiotics for 1-2 weeks is the first-line choice for H. pylori eradication therapy. For patients at risk of developing an ulcer or ulcer complications, it is important to choose carefully which anti-inflammatory drugs, nonselective NSAIDs or coxibs to use, based on a risk assessment of the patient, especially if the high-risk patient also requires aspirin. Testing for and eradicating H. pylori infection in patients is recommended before starting NSAID therapy, and for those currently taking NSAIDs, when there is a history of ulcers or ulcer complications. Understanding the pathophysiology and best treatment strategies for non-NSAID, non-H. pylori-associated peptic ulcers presents a challenge.

publication date

  • February 2006