Background: Therapeutic endoscopy has provided a new means of treating bleeding peptic ulcers. Additional medical therapy may enhance the therapeutic benefit. Hemostasis is highly pH dependent and is severely impaired at low pH. Proton pump inhibitors, by achieving a significantly higher inhibition of gastric acidity, may improve the therapeutic outcomes after endoscopic treatment of ulcers.
Patient and methods: We enrolled 166 patients with hemorrhage from duodenal, gastric, or stomal ulcers and signs of recent hemorrhage, as confirmed by endoscopy. Twenty-six patients had ulcers with an arterial spurt, 41 patients had active ooze, 37 had a visible vessel, and 62 patients had an adherent clot. All patients received endoscopic injection sclerotherapy using 1:10,000 adrenaline and 1% polidocanol and were randomly assigned to receive omeprazole (40 mg orally) every 12 hours for 5 days or an identical-looking placebo. The outcome measures used were recurrent bleeding, surgery, blood transfusion, and hospital stay.
Results: Six (7%) of 82 patients in the omeprazole group had recurrent bleeding, as compared with 18 (21%) in the placebo group (P = 0.02). Two patients in the omeprazole group and 7 patients in the placebo group needed surgery to control their bleeding (P = 0.17). One patient in the omeprazole group and 2 patients in the placebo group died (P = 0.98). Twenty-nine patients (35%) in the omeprazole group and 61 patients (73%) in the placebo group received blood transfusions (P <0.001). The average hospital stay was 4.6 +/- 1.1 days in the omeprazole group and 6.0 +/- 0.7 days in the placebo group (P <0.001).
Conclusion: The addition of oral omeprazole to combination injection sclerotherapy decreases the rate of recurrent bleeding, reduces the need for surgery and transfusion, and shortens the hospital stay for patients with stigmata of recent hemorrhage.