Enhanced mucosal fibrinolytic activity in gastroduodenal ulcer haemorrhage and the beneficial effect of acid suppression

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2001 May;15(5):639-46. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2001.00978.x.


Background: The high mortality rate in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding appears to be particularly related to re-bleeding. The haemostatic mechanisms that may influence the re-bleeding of ulcers are largely unknown.

Aim: We studied and analysed fibrinolytic activity in bleeding ulcer patients and the effect of acid suppression on this activity.

Methods: Fibrinolytic activity was analysed in mucosal biopsies from 29 bleeding gastroduodenal ulcer patients and six controls. We analysed levels of D-Dimer, fibrin plate lysis area, plasminogen activator activity, plasminogen activator inhibitor activity, and plasmin antiplasmin complexes.

Results: Significantly more fibrinolytic activity was detected in biopsies from patients with bleeding ulcers compared to controls. Moreover, in patients with endoscopic stigmata of recent haemorrhage, mucosal fibrinolytic activity was higher compared to patients without stigmata of recent haemorrhage. In mucosal biopsies of patients that had used acid suppression before admission, a decreased fibrinolytic activity was found compared to patients without such therapy. This effect of acid suppression on fibrinolytic activity was confirmed in nine patients before and after a 24-h ranitidine infusion.

Conclusions: Fibrinolytic activity is enhanced in patients with bleeding gastroduodenal ulcers. Acid suppressive therapy decreases this increased activity, which may be one of the mechanisms explaining the potential beneficial effect of this therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antacids / pharmacology*
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Fibrinolysis / physiology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastric Mucosa / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peptic Ulcer / complications*
  • Recurrence


  • Antacids