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Heart. 2012 May;98(9):718-23. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2012-301632.

Lower GI bleeding is more common than upper among patients on dual antiplatelet therapy: long-term follow-up of a cohort of patients commonly using PPI co-therapy.

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  • 1Deparment of Cardiology, University Hospital Lozano Blesa, C/San Juan Bosco 15, Zaragoza 50009, Spain.



Patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention require dual antiplatelet therapy. Proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy is recommended for the prevention of upper GI complications. No study has determined the rate and type of GI bleeding events in such patients in routine clinical practice.


Observational study with a prospective follow-up to confirm medication use and occurrence of events, which were validated.


We have followed up a cohort of 1219 consecutive patients admitted for percutaneous coronary intervention in Zaragoza (Spain).


Major GI bleeding and cardiovascular events.


At discharge, 96.7% of patients were on dual antiplatelet therapy and 76.6% on PPI therapy, which increased up to 87.9% during follow-up of 2107.6 patient (pt) s-years (1.72±1.07 years/patient). There were eight patients who developed GI bleeding during hospitalisation and 27 patients during follow-up, (1.52 bleeds per 100 pt-years). Most GI bleeding events (81.4%) occurred during the first year (mean time to bleeding event: 7.03±7.65 months) and 84.6% of patients were on long-term PPI at the time of the bleed. Lower GI bleeding occurred more frequently than upper GI bleeding (74% lower vs. 26% upper). Peptic ulcer history and concomitant warfarin therapy were the only risk factors identified for upper or lower GI bleeding respectively.


Among patients on dual antiplatelet therapy and PPI co-therapy, gastrointestinal bleeding episodes are more frequent in the lower GI tract. This changing pattern of bleeding may reflect the success of gastroprotection and focuses attention on research to address lower GI bleeding in this population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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