OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to determine whether Helicobacter pylori eradication limits the progression of precancerous changes, manifested as intestinal metaplasia (IM), in patients with reflux esophagitis using long-term esomeprazole.METHODS:Three hundred twenty-five reflux esophagitis patients were enrolled and randomly assigned to (i) the H. pylori-positive eradication group receiving 1-week triple therapy (n105); (ii) H. pylori-positive non-eradication controls (n105); and (iii) H. pylori-negative controls (n115). All the patients received continuous esomeprazole until sustained symptomatic response, and when possible, shifted to on-demand therapy (ODT) thereafter. Serial gastroscopy was scheduled on enrollment and at the end of the first and second years to assess the prevalence and progression or regression of gastric atrophy (AT) and IM.RESULTS:There were 93 patients in the H. pylori-eradication group, 83 in the non-eradication controls, and 100 in the negative controls to complete the study. The negative controls had no progression of AT and IM during follow-up. For the H. pylori-positive eradication group, there was significant regression of AT and IM during follow-up (P0.05). In the H. pylori-positive non-treated controls, the prevalence rates of AT and IM were significantly greater on the second year than on enrollment (P0.05). During the second-year follow-up, the patients in the eradication group achieved more regression and less development of AT and IM than did the non-eradication controls (P0.001).CONCLUSIONS:In patients using long-term esomeprazole for reflux esophagitis, screening for and eradicating H. pylori infection are necessary in order to limit the progression or cause the regression of gastric precancerous changes.
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