Intragastric pH during Continuous Infusion with Pantoprazole in Patients with Bleeding Peptic Ulcer
OBJECTIVES: In managing patients with bleeding peptic ulcers, prevention of rebleeding is a particular challenge to hemostasis and fibrinolysis, both of which involve reactions that are impaired in acidic gastric environment. Therefore, such patients are expected to benefit from profound acid suppression. The present investigation aimed to establish a safe and, with regard to pH elevation, effective treatment that, based on in vitro evidence, should provide clinical benefit in this patient population. METHODS: Patients with acute bleeding peptic ulcers (Forrest Ia, Ib, IIa) after successful endoscopic hemostasis were enrolled in two pilot studies (N = 20 each). They were given an intravenous bolus injection of 80 mg of pantoprazole immediately followed by continuous infusion of either 6 mg/h or 8 mg/h pantoprazole for 72 h. Intragastric pH was measured continuously over 24 h and, if possible, for up to 48 h. RESULTS: Intragastric pH increased rapidly to values of about 6 with both treatments. For the 0-24 h period, the median pH values were 6.1 (68% range 4.5-7.4) and 6.1 (68% range 5.2-6.7) in patients receiving 6 mg/h and 8 mg/h continuous infusion, respectively; the values for the 0-48 h period were 5.9 (4.9-6.7) and 6.3 (5.5-7.0), respectively. The median percentage time that pH was ≥6 during the 0-48 h interval was 47% (68% range 28-89) for the 6 mg/h treatment group and 64% (68% range 41-84) for the 8 mg/h treatment group. Both treatment regimens with pantoprazole were well tolerated based on electrocardiographic measurements, vital signs, clinical laboratory values, and adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Compared with the infusion with 6 mg/h pantoprazole, the continuous infusion of 8 mg/h pantoprazole showed a lower interindividual variability of the intragastric pH and a greater percentage of time that pH was ≥6. Thus, with regard to safety and efficacy, an initial 80-mg bolus injection, followed by 8 mg/h continuous infusion, seems to be the adequate treatment in patients with a high risk of rebleeding. © 2003 by Am. Coll. of Gastroenterology.