Is prophylactic intravenous administration of a proton pump inhibitor necessary for perioperative management of cardiac surgery?

Heart Surg Forum. 2012 Oct;15(5):E277-9. doi: 10.1532/HSF98.20111162.


Background: Mortality from gastrointestinal (GI) hemorrhage caused by antiplatelet or anticoagulant therapy (or both) is quite high after cardiac surgery. We previously reported that proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy is indispensable in preventing postoperative GI complications. PPIs are usually administered intravenously immediately after surgery and subsequently by oral formulations. We conducted a prospective study to evaluate whether intravenous PPI followed by oral administration is more efficient as prophylaxis than oral-only administration.

Methods and results: We enrolled 40 patients scheduled to undergo coronary artery bypass grafting with cardiopulmonary bypass and randomly assigned them to receive oral PPIs alone (group 1) or intravenous PPI followed by oral administration (group 2). Postoperative upper GI endoscopy evaluations showed no evidence of GI bleeding. Only gastritis, esophagitis, and hiatal hernia were observed at similar incidences in the groups. Mean hospital stays were also similar, but the cost of PPI treatment was significantly lower in group 1.

Conclusion: No additional benefits of intravenous PPIs over oral formulations were demonstrated. Oral PPIs alone were effective and economical as prophylaxis against GI complications. Intravenous PPIs might be unnecessary in selected patients after cardiac surgery.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravenous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / adverse effects
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / adverse effects
  • Coronary Artery Bypass / methods*
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Disease / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Perioperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Radiography
  • Reference Values
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors