Curr Opin Crit Care. 2021 Apr 1;27(2):177-182. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000803.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review focuses on the current literature on the epidemiology and prevention of stress-induced clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding in ICU patients.
RECENT FINDINGS: The incidence of stress-induced clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients seems to be decreasing. Observational studies and an exploratory randomized controlled trial suggest that early enteral nutrition may be effective in preventing gastrointestinal bleeding in patients who are not at high risk. Recent systemic reviews and meta-analyses indicate that proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists are more effective than placebo in preventing clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding, especially in high-risk and very high-risk patients, but do not reduce mortality. Although observational data suggested an association of proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists with Clostridium difficile infection and pneumonia, this association was not confirmed in randomized controlled trials.
SUMMARY: The incidence of stress-induced clinically important gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients seems to have decreased over time. Even though stress ulcer prophylaxis in critically ill patients has been a research focus for decades, many questions remain unanswered, such as which groups of patients are likely to benefit and what pharmacologic agent is associated with the best benefit-to-harm ratio.