Proton pump inhibitor therapy does not increase the incidence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhosis: a multicenter prospective study

J Hepatol. 2015 May;62(5):1056-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.11.036. Epub 2014 Dec 4.


Background & aim: Retrospective studies show an association between proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP). We investigate the relationship between PPI and SBP in decompensated cirrhotic patients in a large nationwide prospective study.

Methods: Seven hundred seventy patients with a diagnosis of decompensated cirrhosis were admitted consecutively in 23 hospitals in Argentina from March 2011 to April 2012; the patients were carefully investigated for PPI consumption in the previous 3 months. In total, 251 patients were excluded because of active gastrointestinal hemorrhage, antibiotic use during the preceding weeks, HIV-positive status and immunosuppressive therapy.

Results: Two hundred twenty-six out of 519 patients (43.5%) had received PPI therapy within the last 3 months. In 135 patients, PPIs were administered for longer than 2 weeks. A bacterial infection was shown in 255 patients (49.1%). SBP was diagnosed in 95 patients out of 394 patients with ascites (24.7%). There was no significant difference in the rate of PPI consumption between the infected and the non-infected patients (44.3% vs. 42.8%) or between the SBP patients and the patients with ascites without SBP (46% vs. 42%). In the SBP patients, the duration of PPI administration did not influence the rate of SBP occurrence. The type of bacteria and the origin of SBP infection were similar in the patients with and without PPI.

Conclusion: In the current large, multicenter, prospective study, PPI therapy, specifically evaluated at admission of consecutive cirrhotic patients, was not associated with a higher risk of SBP.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; Proton pump inhibitor; Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Argentina / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections* / diagnosis
  • Bacterial Infections* / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections* / etiology
  • Bacterial Infections* / therapy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis* / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis* / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis* / physiopathology
  • Liver Function Tests / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peritonitis* / diagnosis
  • Peritonitis* / epidemiology
  • Peritonitis* / etiology
  • Peritonitis* / therapy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors* / administration & dosage
  • Proton Pump Inhibitors* / adverse effects
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Statistics as Topic


  • Proton Pump Inhibitors