This study compared two strategies for the management of dyspepsia: therapy based on prompt endoscopy (group 1) vs an empirical treatment strategy with diagnostic endoscopy only in case of therapeutic failure or symptomatic relapse within one year (group 2). Patients without jaundice, bleeding, anaemia, or a previously diagnosed ulcer and with symptoms severe enough to justify empirical H2-blocker therapy were included. Symptoms, drug consumption, and sick-leave days were evaluated through monthly diaries. Patients with non-organic dyspepsia did not receive ulcer drugs. Of 414 patients randomized, 373 completed one year follow-up. In 68 (33%) of the 208 group 1 patients organic disease was found at endoscopy (ulcer in 45 patients). Endoscopy was eventually performed in 136 (66%) of 206 group 2 patients. Case selection for endoscopy was not improved by the empirical treatment strategy since the diagnostic profile was not altered and 40% of the presumed ulcer cases remained undiagnosed. After one year no differences in symptoms or quality of life measures were found. The empirical treatment strategy in dyspepsia was associated with higher costs, mainly due to increases in number of sick-leave days and in ulcer drug use. Prompt endoscopy is a cost-effective strategy in dyspeptic patients with symptoms severe enough to justify H2-blocker treatment.
|Bidragets oversatte titel
|Empirical H2-blocker therapy or prompt endoscopy in the management of dyspepsia of unknown cause. A randomised trial of two management strategies
|Ugeskrift for laeger
|Udgivet - 14 feb. 1995