Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr.  2019 Sep;22(5):417-430. 10.5223/pghn.2019.22.5.417.

Changes in the Treatment Strategies for Helicobacter pylori Infection in Children and Adolescents in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Gyeongsang National Institute of Health Sciences, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, Korea. hsyoun@gnu.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Microbiology, Gyeongsang National University College of Medicine, Jinju, Korea.

Abstract

The policies developed for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection in adults may not be the most suitable ones to treat children and adolescents. Methods used to treat children and adolescents in Europe and North America may not be appropriate for treating children and adolescents in Korea due to differences in epidemiological characteristics of H. pylori between regions. Moreover, the agreed standard guidelines for the treatment of H. pylori infection in children and adolescents in Korea have not been established yet. In this study, the optimal treatment strategy for H. pylori infection control in children and adolescents in Korea is discussed based on these guidelines, and recent progress on the use and misuse of antimicrobial agents is elaborated. Non-invasive as well as invasive diagnostic test and treatment strategy for H. pylori infection are not recommendable in children aged less than ten years or children with body weight under 35 kg, except in cases of clinically suspected or endoscopically identified peptic ulcers. The uncertainty, whether enough antimicrobial concentrations to eradicate H. pylori can be maintained when administered according to body weight-based dosing, and the costs and adverse effects outweighing the anticipated benefits of treatment make it difficult to decide to eradicate H. pylori in a positive non-invasive diagnostic test in this age group. However, adolescents over ten years of age or with a bodyweight of more than 35 kg can be managed aggressively as adults, because they can tolerate the adult doses of anti-H. pylori therapy. In adolescents, the prevention of future peptic ulcers and gastric cancers is expected after the eradication of H. pylori. Bismuth-based quadruple therapy (bismuth-proton pump inhibitor-amoxicillin/tetracycline-metronidazole) with maximal tolerable doses and optimal dose intervals of 14 days is recommended, because in Korea, the antibiotic susceptibility test for H. pylori is not performed at the initial diagnostic evaluation. If the first-line treatment fails, concomitant therapy plus bismuth can be attempted for 14 days as an empirical rescue therapy. Finally, the salvage therapy, if needed, must be administered after the H. pylori antibiotic susceptibility test.

Keyword

Helicobacter pylori; Therapeutics; Guideline; Children

MeSH Terms

Adolescent*
Adult
Anti-Infective Agents
Bismuth
Body Weight
Child*
Diagnostic Tests, Routine
Europe
Helicobacter pylori*
Helicobacter*
Humans
Infection Control
Korea*
North America
Peptic Ulcer
Salvage Therapy
Stomach Neoplasms
Uncertainty
Anti-Infective Agents
Bismuth
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