A comparison of rabeprazole, lansoprazole, and ranitidine for improving preoperative gastric fluid property in adults undergoing elective surgery

Anesth Analg. 2000 Mar;90(3):717-21. doi: 10.1097/00000539-200003000-00038.


Acid aspiration syndrome at the induction of anesthesia is still a potentially life-threatening complication. Its severity is affected by both pH and volume of the gastric juice that is aspirated. We compared the effects of rabeprazole (a new proton pump inhibitor), lansoprazole, and ranitidine on gastric fluid properties in a prospective, randomized, double-blinded fashion in 180 adult patients undergoing elective surgery. Patients were divided into six groups (n = 30 in each) according to their premedication. Patients in each group received placebo-rabeprazole (PLA-RAB), rabeprazole-placebo (RAB-PLA), rabeprazole-rabeprazole (RAB-RAB), lansoprazole-lansoprazole (LAN-LAN), placebo-ranitidine (PLA-RAN), or placebo-placebo (PLA-PLA) for the first-second medication. Each dose of the study drug was 20 mg for rabeprazole, 30 mg for lansoprazole, and 150 mg for ranitidine. The first medication was given orally at 9:00 PM on the day before surgery and the second at 5:30 AM on the day of surgery. Each patient fasted overnight and took the drug with 20 mL of water. After tracheal intubation, gastric fluid was aspirated via an orogastric tube, and the volume and pH of the aspirate was measured. Preoperative gastric fluid acidity and volume were improved by the study drugs in the following order: PLA-RAN (pH 5.3, volume 0.10 mL/kg), RAB-RAB, LAN-LAN, PLA-RAB, and RAB-PLA (pH 3.8, volume 0.22 mL/kg). The proportion of patients at risk of acid aspiration syndrome according to the traditional criteria (pH < 2.5 and volume > 0.4 mL/kg) was minimized in Groups RAB-RAB and PLA-RAN (0%). We concluded that a single morning dose of ranitidine rather than two doses (bedtime and morning) of rabeprazole was the most effective premedicant to control gastric fluid properties and to minimize the risk of aspiration pneumonitis.

Implications: Acid aspiration syndrome at the induction of anesthesia is rare but still a potentially life-threatening complication. We compared rabeprazole, lansoprazole, and ranitidine for reduction of preoperative gastric fluid acidity and volume in elective surgery and found that a combination of bedtime and morning doses of rabeprazole, or a morning dose of ranitidine, similarly minimized the variables. In adult patients who are at risk of aspirating gastric contents, improvement of gastric fluid environment by rabeprazole can reasonably be anticipated to provide protection against pneumonitis should regurgitation and aspiration of gastric contents occur.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • 2-Pyridinylmethylsulfinylbenzimidazoles
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Benzimidazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Female
  • Gastric Juice / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lansoprazole
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Omeprazole / analogs & derivatives*
  • Omeprazole / therapeutic use
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rabeprazole
  • Ranitidine / therapeutic use*


  • 2-Pyridinylmethylsulfinylbenzimidazoles
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Lansoprazole
  • Rabeprazole
  • Ranitidine
  • Omeprazole