Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 May;104(5):1130-4. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.80. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

Association of proton pump inhibitor therapy with spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in cirrhotic patients with ascites.

Author information

Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, McGuire VA Medical Center, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23221, USA.



Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is a frequent complication of cirrhosis. Bacterial contamination of ascites fluid leading to SBP is caused by bacterial translocation with subsequent bacteremia. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) suppress gastric acid secretion, allowing bacterial colonization of the upper gastrointestinal tract, and may predispose to bacterial overgrowth and translocation. The aim of this study was to determine whether PPI use in cirrhotics with ascites is associated with SBP.


A retrospective case-control study was performed. Seventy cirrhotics admitted with paracentesis-proven SBP between 2002 and 2007 were matched 1:1 (for age and Child's class) with comparable cirrhotics with ascites who were admitted for conditions other than SBP. We excluded patients on chronic antibiotic prophylaxis or with antecedent gastrointestinal bleeding. Outpatient PPI use at the time of admission was compared between groups, and the effect of covariates was analyzed.


Patients with SBP had a significantly higher rate of prehospital PPI use (69%) compared with ascitic cirrhotics hospitalized without SBP (31%, P = 0.0001). There was no significant difference in demographics, diabetes, etiology, or survival between groups. On multivariate analysis, PPI use was independently associated with SBP (odds ratio (OR) 4.31, confidence interval (CI) 1.34-11.7), and ascitic fluid protein was protective (OR 0.1, CI 0.03-0.25). In total, 47% of cirrhotic patients receiving PPI in this study had no documented indication for PPI treatment.


PPI therapy is associated with SBP in patients with advanced cirrhosis. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether PPI avoidance can reduce the incidence of SBP and improve outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Support Center