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Meta-analysis: helicobacter pylori eradication treatment efficacy in children

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Mar 1;25(5):523-36.

Khurana R, Fischbach L, Chiba N, VAN Zanten SV, Sherman PM, George BA, Goodman KJ, Gold BD.

Community Oriented Primary Care, Parkland Health & Hospital Systems, Dallas, TX 75224, USA. renu.khurana@sbcglobal.net

BACKGROUND: Several meta-analyses assessing the efficacy of anti-Helicobacter pylori treatment in adults have been published but a comparable meta-analysis in children is lacking. 

AIMS: To summarize the efficacy of treatments aimed at eradicating H. pylori in children and to identify sources of variation in treatment efficacy across studies. 

METHODS: We searched Medline, reference lists from published study reports, and conference proceedings for anti-H. pylori treatment trials in children. Weighted meta-regression models were used to find sources of variation in efficacy. 

RESULTS: Eighty studies (127 treatment arms) with 4436 children were included. Overall, methodological quality of these studies was poor with small sample sizes and few randomized-controlled trials. The efficacy of therapies varied across treatment arms, treatment duration, method of post-treatment assessment and geographic location. Among the regimens tested, 2-6 weeks of nitroimidazole and amoxicillin, 1-2 weeks of clarithromycin, amoxicillin and a proton pump inhibitor, and 2 weeks of a macrolide, a nitroimidazole and a proton pump inhibitor or bismuth, amoxicillin and metronidazole were the most efficacious in developed countries. 

CONCLUSIONS: Before worldwide treatment recommendations are given for eradication of H. pylori, additional well-designed randomized placebo-controlled paediatric trials are needed, especially in developing countries where both drug resistance and disease burden is high.

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