Several interesting studies have been published on nonmalignant Helicobacter pylori-related conditions over the past year, which are reviewed in this article. A revival of interest in the histologic classification of gastritis has led to grading of gastritis into stages correlating with risk of neoplastic progression, new data to improve this concept have been published. Unselected prescription of proton-pump inhibitors in patients with dyspepsia has been questioned by the finding that withdrawal of proton-pump inhibitors induces acid-related symptoms in healthy volunteers, probably by the mechanism of rebound gastric acid hypersecretion. Additional data on the rationale of tapering proton-pump inhibitor therapy are therefore awaited. Moreover, new data on peptic ulcer disease and its complications provide clear recommendations for daily clinical practice. Testing and eradication of H. pylori in patients with peptic ulcer bleeding is essential. However, in H. pylori-negative peptic ulcer disease, high overall patient mortality should be acknowledged, and this should guide considering continuation of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The role of H. pylori in the pathogenesis of gastroesophageal reflux disease is still unclear. An association has been described by several studies; however, it cannot be translated to individual risks for development of gastroesophageal reflux disease after H. pylori eradication. Possibly, additional data on subgroups, such as gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer patients, and associated gastric mucosal changes, will solve this issue.

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Helicobacter (Oxford)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam