Objectives:The efficacy of levofloxacin triple therapy has fallen below 80% in the second-line treatment of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). We aimed to assess whether the levofloxacin sequential therapy is more effective than levofloxacin triple therapy in the second-line treatment.Methods:This open-label, randomized, multicenter trial was conducted between 2012 and 2015. H. pylori-infected subjects who failed from clarithromycin-based regimens (N=600) were randomized (1:1) to receive levofloxacin sequential therapy (LS: lansoprazole and amoxicillin for the first 5 days, followed by lansoprazole, levofloxacin, and metronidazole for another 5 days) or levofloxacin triple therapy (LT: lansoprazole, amoxicillin, and levofloxacin for 10 days). Successful eradication was defined as negative 13 C-urea breath test at least 6 weeks after treatment. Our primary outcome was the eradication rate by intention-to-treat (ITT) and per-protocol (PP) analyses. Antibiotic resistance was determined by agar dilution test.Results:The prevalence of clarithromycin, levofloxacin, and metronidazole resistance was 60, 17.6, and 36.9%, respectively. The eradication rates of LS and LT were 84.3% (253/300) and 75.3% (226/300), respectively, in the ITT analysis (P=0.006) and 86.3% (253/293) and 78.8% (223/283), respectively, in the PP analysis (P=0.021). The efficacies of both LS and LT were affected by levofloxacin resistance. The secondary resistance of levofloxacin was 66.7 and 73.9% after LS and LT, respectively. The efficacies of LS and LT were not affected by the CYP2C19 polymorphism.Conclusions:Levofloxacin sequential therapy was more effective than levofloxacin triple therapy, and it is recommended in the second-line treatment for H. pylori (Trial registration number: NCT01537055).
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