A standard third-line therapy for Helicobacter pylori infection is lacking, and antimicrobial sensitivity data for patients who failed eradication therapy are often unavailable in clinical practice. We therefore designed the prospective study to assess the efficacy of levofloxacin, amoxicillin, bismuth and rabeprazole quadruple therapy as a third-line treatment for H. pylori infection.Patients and methods
From September 2005 to August 2007, 37 consecutive H. pylori-infected patients who had failed standard first-line and second-line treatments underwent a 10-day quadruple therapy comprising rabeprazole (20 mg b.i.d.), bismuth subcitrate (300 mg q.d.s.), amoxicillin (500 mg q.d.s.) and levofloxacin (500 mg o.d.). Follow-up endoscopy with rapid urease test, histological examination and culture was performed at 6 weeks after the end of treatment to evaluate the response to therapy.Results
Helicobacter pylori was successfully eradicated in 31 out of 37 patients (84% by both intention-to-treat analysis and per-protocol analysis). All patients complied with the eradication therapies, and only seven patients (19%) complained of mild-to-moderate adverse events. Amoxicillin- and levofloxacin-resistant strains were observed in 17% and 22% of the patients, respectively. There were no significant differences between H. pylori eradication rates and antibiotic resistances.Conclusions
The 10-day levofloxacin- and amoxicillin-based quadruple therapy is well tolerated and achieves a high eradication rate as a third-line empirical treatment for H. pylori infection.