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Trop Gastroenterol. 2003 Jul-Sep;24(3):124-8.

Stress ulcer prophylaxis in patients on ventilator.

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Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029.


The objective of the study was to assess the efficacy of the H2-receptor antagonists and sucralfate for the prophylaxis of stress ulcer in patients on a ventilator in an intensive care unit in the general intensive care unit of our institute. A randomized, clinical controlled trial was conducted. Fifty-two critically ill patients, who required mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours, were randomly divided into 3 groups. Group I received ranitidine 50 mg (intravenous) 8 hourly, group II received tablet sucralfate 1 g 8 hourly through a Ryle's tube, whereas group III was not given any drug. The incidence of upper gastrointestinal bleed, change in gastric pH and growth of gram-negative organisms in the gastric juice and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) culture were noted and analysed. The treatment groups were similar with respect to the baseline characteristics. The incidence of upper gastrointestinal bleeding was similar in the ranitidine (12.5%) and sucralfate groups (14.35%) but was high in the control group (57.14%). The mean gastric pH was significantly low in the control group (mean pH 2.07) compared to the ranitidine (mean pH 5.25) and sucralfate groups(mean pH 3.54)(p < 0.05). The incidence of positive culture for gram-negative organisms was significantly high in the ranitidine group (75%) in comparison with the sucralfate group (33.33%) (p < 0.002). However, the incidence of positive growth in the BAL culture was similar in all three groups. We conclude that both ranitidine and sucralfate are equally effective in decreasing the incidence of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage and other stress- related lesions. Though ranitidine was more effective in increasing the gastric pH, the incidence of gastric colonization was higher in the ranitidine group compared to the sucralfate group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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