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Arch Intern Med

Risk of hospitalization for upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding associated with ketorolac, other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, calcium antagonists, and other antihypertensive drugs.

Garcia Rodriguez LA. Cattaruzzi C. Troncon MG. Agostinis L.
Spanish Center for Pharmacoepidemiologic Research, Complutense University, Madrid, Spain.
BACKGROUND: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cause substantial morbidity and mortality from upper gastrointestinal tract disease. Ketorolac tromethamine has been singled out as an NSAID with a distinct gastrotoxicity profile. Calcium channel blockers, a class of antihypertensive drugs, have also been found to increase the risk of gastrointestinal tract bleeding. METHODS: We identified 1505 patients hospitalized because of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding and/or perforation, and we randomly sampled 20,000 controls in the source population. RESULTS: The adjusted relative risk (RR) for upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding and/or perforation in NSAID users compared with nonusers was 4.4 (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.7-5.3). The risk increased with higher daily doses. Ketorolac presented the highest risk (RR, 24.7; 95% CI, 9.6-63.5) and piroxicam ranked second (RR, 9.5; 95% CI, 6.5-13.8). Ketorolac was 5 times more gastrotoxic than all other NSAIDs (RR, 5.5; 95% CI, 2.1-14.4). The excess risk with ketorolac was observed with both oral and intramuscular administration and was already present during the first week of therapy. Among the various antihypertensive drug classes, beta-blockers were associated with the lowest relative risk (RR, 1.0; 95% CI, 0.7-1.4), and current use of calcium channel blockers with the highest (RR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.1). The association with calcium channel blockers declined when adjusting for various markers of comorbidity (RR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8). Past use of calcium channel blockers was also associated with an increased risk (RR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.3-1.8). CONCLUSIONS: The excess risk of major upper gastrointestinal tract complications associated with outpatient use of ketorolac suggests an unfavorable risk-benefit assessment compared with other NSAIDs. More data are required to reduce the uncertainty about the apparent small increased risk of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding in patients using calcium channel blockers.

A prospective randomized comparative trial showing that omeprazole prevents rebleeding in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer after successful endoscopic therapy.

Lin HJ. Lo WC. Lee FY. Perng CL. Tseng GY.
Department of Medicine, Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.
BACKGROUND: A blood clot in a peptic ulcer is unstable in a low pH environment. The use of omeprazole may prevent rebleeding by elevating intragastric pH in patients with bleeding peptic ulcer after hemostasis has been achieved. OBJECTIVES: To assess the influence of using omeprazole and cimetidine on 24-hour intragastric pH and to determine their ability to prevent rebleeding after having achieved initial hemostasis in patients with active bleeding or nonbleeding visible vessels. METHODS: One hundred patients with bleeding peptic ulcers who had obtained initial hemostasis were enrolled in this randomized comparative trial. In the cimetidine group (n = 50), a 300-mg intravenous bolus of cimetidine was given, followed by a 1200-mg continuous infusion daily for 3 days. Thereafter, 400 mg of cimetidine was given orally twice daily for 2 months. In the omeprazole group (n = 50), a 40-mg intravenous bolus of omeprazole was given, followed by 160 mg of continuous infusion daily for 3 days. Thereafter, 20 mg of omeprazole was given orally once daily for 2 months. A pH meter was inserted in each patient's fundus under fluoroscopic guidance after the intravenous bolus of cimetidine or omeprazole had been administered. RESULTS: The stigmata of recent hemorrhage before endoscopic therapy in the omeprazole and cimetidine groups were, respectively, spurting (9 vs 12), oozing (4 vs 9), and nonbleeding visible vessel (37 vs 29) (P > .05). The duration of intragastric pH higher than 6.0 was longer in the omeprazole group (mean [+/- SD], 84.4% +/- 22.9%) than that of the cimetidine group (mean [+/- SD], 53.5% +/- 32.3%) (P < .001). Rebleeding occurred in 2 patients (4%) in the omeprazole group and in 12 patients (24%) in the cimetidine group by day 14 after enrollment (P = .004). There was a tendency for patients in the omeprazole group to require less blood transfusion (median, 0 mL; range, 0-2500 mL) than those in the cimetidine group (median, 0 mL; range, 0-5000 mL) (P = .08). The hospital stay and number of operations and mortality rate were similar between both groups. CONCLUSIONS: The use of omeprazole is more effective than cimetidine in increasing intragastric pH and reducing rebleeding episodes in patients with bleeding peptic ulcers after successful endoscopic therapy. This suggests that omeprazole should be used routinely after successful endoscopic therapy.

Age-related response to interferon alfa treatment in women vs men with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Hayashi J. Kishihara Y. Ueno K. Yamaji K. Kawakami Y. Furusyo N. Sawayama Y. Kashiwagi S.
Department of General Medicine, Kyushu University Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan.
BACKGROUND: Interferon alfa is used widely for patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Little is known, however, of the relationship between patients' sex and the effectiveness of interferon alfa treatment in these patients. METHODS: We treated 311 patients (199 men and 112 women) with human lymphoblastoid interferon (6 million units subcutaneously every day for 2 weeks and 3 times a week for 22 weeks) and observed them for an additional 6 months. Serum HCV RNA levels and genotype were tested by polymerase chain reaction before treatment. A liver biopsy was also done. For the purposes of this study, a complete response was defined as the elimination of HCV RNA for at least 6 months after the termination of treatment. RESULTS: The rate of complete response was 27.1% for men and 24.1% for women. With multiple logistic regression analysis, the HCV RNA level (P < .001), genotype (P < .001), patients' sex (P < .05), and the interaction between sex and age were associated with a complete response to interferon alfa. The rate of complete response was 33.3% in men aged 39 years and younger, 25.0% in men aged 40 years and older. 75.0% in women aged 39 years and younger, and 15.6% in women aged 40 years and older. The odds ratio by group was 1.00, 0.72, 4.38, and 0.21, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our finding that women aged 39 years and younger are responsive to interferon alfa treatment suggests that hormonal activity, in particular the level of estrogen, may be associated with the sustained elimination of HCV.

Lifestyle, stress, and genes in peptic ulcer disease: a nationwide twin cohort study.

Year 1998
Raiha I. Kemppainen H. Kaprio J. Koskenvuo M. Sourander L.
Department of Geriatrics, University of Turku, Finland.
BACKGROUND: The familial accumulation of peptic ulcer disease observed in several studies may be attributable to genetic effects, aggregation of environmental exposure (shared environment), or both. The intrafamilial spread of Helicobacter pylori infection has raised the question whether shared environment could explain the familial aggregation of peptic ulcer disease rather than genetic similarity of family members. OBJECTIVE: To examine the contribution of genetic and environmental factors to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease in a nationwide population-based cohort of adult twins. METHODS: The Finnish Twin Cohort consists of all same-sexed twin pairs born before 1958 with both twins alive in 1975. The total number of twin pairs is 13888, of whom 4307 are monozygotic (MZ) and 9581 are dizygotic (DZ) twins. Questionnaire surveys of twins were carried out in 1975, 1981, and 1990, including medical and psychosocial questions. One question asked whether a physician had ever made a diagnosis of gastric or duodenal ulcer. In addition, hospital discharge data from 1972 to 1991 were linked with the twin cohort to obtain those twin individuals who had been treated for gastric or duodenal ulcer. The prevalence of and concordance for peptic ulcer disease were examined in MZ and DZ twins. Model-fitting analysis was used to specify the relative roles of genetic and environmental factors. The contribution of lifestyle factors and stress was examined prospectively in an incidence study and by comparison of discordant pairs. RESULTS: The prevalence of peptic ulcer disease was 6.2% in men and 2.8% in women in 1975. There were 63 MZ and 86 DZ pairs concordant for peptic ulcer disease. Concordance for disease was significantly higher in MZ than in DZ twin pairs; the probandwise concordance rate was 23.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 20.9%-26.3%) in MZ twins and 14.8% (95% CI, 13.3%-16.3%) in DZ twins. In the model-fitting analysis, a model with both additive genetic and unshared environmental effects had the best goodness-of-fit. Thirty-nine percent (95% CI, 32%-47%) of the liability to peptic ulcer disease was explained by genetic factors and 61% (95% CI, 53%-68%) by individual environmental factors. In the incidence study (logistic regression analysis of the entire cohort initially free of peptic ulcer disease, with subjects diagnosed as having peptic ulcer after 1975 as cases), current smoking (relative risk, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.5-3.2) and high stress levels (relative risk, 3.2; 95% CI, 1.4-7.6) in men and regular use of analgesics (relative risk, 3.3; 95% CI, 1.3-8.1) in women predicted peptic ulcer disease during the follow-up from 1976 to 1991. In the analysis of discordant pairs, smoking in men and regular use of analgesics in both sexes were predictors of peptic ulcer disease. CONCLUSIONS: The questionnaire and hospital usage data on peptic ulcer disease in the population-based twin cohort suggest that the familial aggregation of the disease is modest, and attributable almost solely to genetic factors. Environmental effects not shared by family members were significant predictors of disease, and they were attributable to smoking and stress in men and the use of analgesics in women. The minor effects of shared environment to disease liability do not support the concept that the clustering of risk factors, such as H pylori infection, would explain the familial accumulation of peptic ulcer disease.

Carrier screening for cystic fibrosis, Gaucher disease, and Tay-Sachs disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population: the first 1000 cases at New York University Medical Center, New York, NY.

Year 1998
Kronn D. Jansen V. Ostrer H.
Division of Medical Genetics, New York Medical College, Valhalla, USA.
BACKGROUND: By late 1993, the genes for cystic fibrosis and Gaucher disease and the mutations common among Ashkenazi Jews had been identified. In response to these advances, heterozygote screening for cystic fibrosis and Gaucher disease was added to the more than 20-year-old Tay-Sachs disease screening program at New York University Medical Center, New York, NY. OBJECTIVE: To review the outcomes from the first 1000 patients screened through this program. METHODS: Patients and their referring physicians were informed about the new carrier tests. At the time of screening, patients could choose their tests (hexosaminidase A by enzyme analysis for Tay-Sachs disease or mutation analysis for cystic fibrosis and Gaucher disease). All partners of Tay-Sachs and cystic fibrosis carriers were tested. Prenatal diagnosis was offered and performed for carrier couples or mixed-marriage couples in whom the Ashkenazi Jewish partner was a carrier of Gaucher disease. Outcomes were measured by: (1) choice of tests, (2) decisions regarding prenatal diagnosis, and (3) phenotypes of children born to patients who underwent screening. RESULTS: The majority of Ashkenazi Jewish patients chose to have testing for all 3 diseases. If they previously underwent screening for Tay-Sachs disease, then they chose to undergo testing for cystic fibrosis and Gaucher disease. All carrier couples for each of these diseases went on to have prenatal testing. All mixed-marriage couples in whom the Jewish partner was found to be a carrier for Gaucher disease chose to have prenatal diagnosis. One fetus was identified as having cystic fibrosis. Since the program was initiated, no Ashkenazi Jewish baby has been born with any of these diseases at New York University Medical Center. CONCLUSIONS: New tests can be readily incorporated into established heterozygote screening programs. The Ashkenazi Jewish population described herein tends to choose testing for all conditions for which heterozygote screening is available.

Diagnostic utility of the polymerase chain reaction in 2 cases of suspected Whipple disease.

Year 1998
Tasken K. Schulz T. Elgjo K. Skullerud K. Relman D. Brubakk O.
Department of Medicine, Ostfold Sentralsykehus, Sarpsborg, Norway.
We describe 2 patients with a diagnosis of Whipple disease in whom the usual antibiotic therapy failed. A polymerase chain reaction-based test was used to identify the recently described Whipple bacillus, Tropheryma whippelii. In one case, the diagnosis was confirmed, whereas in the second case, which had been histologically diagnosed as Whipple disease of the brain, the process was identified as a monocyte-derived histiocytosis. In conclusion, Whipple disease can be distinguished from other diseases with similar histological features with the use of a polymerase chain reaction-based test.

Cost savings in duodenal ulcer therapy through Helicobacter pylori eradication compared with conventional therapies: results of a randomized, double-blind, multicenter trial. Gastrointestinal Utilization Trial Study Group.

Year 1998
Sonnenberg A. Schwartz JS. Cutler AF. Vakil N. Bloom BS.
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Department of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87108, USA. sonnbrg@unm.edu
BACKGROUND: We hypothesized that treatment of duodenal ulcer disease with antibiotic therapy directed toward Helicobacter pylori infection is more cost-effective than therapy with antisecretory agents. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial of adult patients with active duodenal ulcer and H. pylori infection was conducted. Patients were randomized to receive 500 mg of clarithromycin 3 times a day plus 40 mg of omeprazole daily for 14 days followed by 20 mg of omeprazole daily for an additional 14 days (group 1), 20 mg of omeprazole daily for 28 days (group 2), or 150 mg of ranitidine hydrochloride twice a day for 28 days (group 3). The use of ulcer-related health care resources was documented during monthly interviews for 1 year after the initial therapy. Clinical success was evaluated 4 to 6 weeks and 1 year after the end of therapy. RESULTS: Of the 819 patients enrolled, 727 completed the study. Group 1 included 243 patients; group 2, 248 patients; and group 3, 236 patients. Patients in group 1 used fewer ulcer-related health care resources during the 1 year after therapy compared with groups 2 and 3 (comparisons are given as group 1 vs group 2 and group 1 vs group 3, respectively): the number of endoscopies performed, 28 vs 76 (P

A foodborne outbreak of Cyclospora cayetanensis at a wedding: clinical features and risk factors for illness.

Year 1998
Fleming CA. Caron D. Gunn JE. Barry MA.
Division of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Mass, USA.
BACKGROUND: Cyclospora cayetanensis, a coccidian parasite, has increasingly been recognized as a cause of gastrointestinal tract illness. We describe an outbreak of Cyclospora infection following a wedding reception. OBJECTIVES: To investigate and characterize risk factors associated with the outbreak of Cyclospora and to describe the observed clinical course and spectrum of illness. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study involving 94 of the 101 guests who attended a wedding reception at a restaurant in Boston, Mass. RESULTS: Fifty-seven respondents met the case definition of infection; 12 of these had laboratory-confirmed Cyclospora. The epidemic curve was consistent with a point source outbreak with a median incubation period of 7 days. Commonly reported symptoms included diarrhea (100%), weight loss (93%), fatigue (91%), and anorexia (90%). The illness had a characteristic waxing and waning course, with 51 persons (89%) reporting recurring symptoms and 35 (61%) reporting illness lasting more than 3 weeks. By univariate analysis, infection was significantly associated (P

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