Objectives: The use of intravenous proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) has shown to reduce recurrent bleeding and improve patient outcome after endoscopic hemostasis on patients with peptic ulcer. However, the efficacy of oral PPI is uncertain. Studies from Asia indicated that even oral PPI can achieve the same therapeutic effect. This study is designed to compare the efficacy of high-dose intravenous PPI to oral PPI in preventing recurrent bleeding after endoscopic hemostasis.
Methods: This is a single-center, randomized-controlled, double-blind, and double-dummy study. Patients had Forrest IA/IB or IIA/IIB peptic ulcer bleeding and received endoscopic hemostasis before recruitment into the study. They were randomized to receive either (i) esomeprazole IV bolus at a dose of 80 mg plus infusion at 8 mg/h for 72 h and oral placebo every 12 h (IVP group), or (ii) IV placebo bolus plus infusion for 72 h and high-dose oral esomeprazole at a dose of 40 mg every 12 h (ORP group). Patients were followed up for 30 days after index bleeding. The primary end point was defined as the 30-day recurrent bleeding after successful endoscopic hemostasis.
Results: A total of 118 patients were randomized to the IVP group and 126 to the ORP group in this study. In all, 39.8% in the IVP and 42.9% in the ORP group used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug and/or aspirin before bleeding. In the IVP group (vs. ORP), Forrest IA represented 1.7% (5.6%), IB 41.5% (38.1%), IIA 52.5% (50.8%), and IIB 4.2% (5.6%). Recurrent bleeding in 30 days was reported in 7.7% of patients in the IVP group and 6.4% of patients in the ORP group, and the difference of recurrent bleeding was -1.3% (95% CI: -7.7%, 5.1%). There was no difference in blood transfusion, repeated endoscopic therapy, and hospital stay between the two groups.
Conclusions: High-dose oral esomeprazole at 40 mg BID may be considered as a useful alternative to IV bolus plus infusion of esomeprazole in the management of ulcer bleeding in patients who are not candidates for high-dose IV infusion. However, as this study was stopped prematurely and was not designed as an equivalency trial, a much larger study would be necessary to document whether there is equivalency or non-inferiority of the two treatments in a heterogeneous patient population.