Background Sequential therapy is a first-line regimen obtaining satisfactory Helicobacter pylori eradication. Triple therapy prolongation improves the success rate even if a recent meta-analysis showed satisfying results only for the 14-day regimen. Studies from Africa and North America were unavailable in previous meta-analyses. Aim To perform a meta-analysis comparing sequential vs. prolonged 14-day triple therapy with regard to 'geographic weighting' by considering subgroups analysis according to metronidazole/clarithromycin low and high resistance areas. Methods Based on PRISMA recommendations, we considered all first-line clinical studies from 2003 to November 2014. Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) were included by a search on PubMed, MEDLINE, Science Direct, EMBASE. Data on eradication rates were expressed as ITT. Risk ratio (RR), pooled RR and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by the Mantel-Haenszel method. Data were entered into RevMan 5.2 software (Nordic Cochrane Centre) using a random-effects model. Results Databases identified 194 studies; seven met the inclusion criteria. Overall results showed a similar effectiveness of the two regimens considered (RR = 0.99; 95% CI = 0.94-1.05; p = 0.75). In areas with high resistance to clarithromycin, sequential was superior to 14-day triple therapy (RR = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.90-1.00; p = 0.03). In areas with high metronidazole resistance, sequential and 14-day triple therapy were equivalent (RR = 0.99; 95% CI = 0.91-1.08; p = 0.82). Conclusions 'Geographic weighting' could be the main factor affecting the lack of differences between sequential and 14-day triple therapy outcomes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas