Randomized clinical trial: the impact of gastrointestinal risk factor screening and prophylactic proton pump inhibitor therapy in patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy

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Dual antiplatelet therapy reduces the risk of ischemic complications after acute coronary syndrome, but increases the risk of bleeding including upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB).


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of screening for risk of UGIB and prophylactic proton pump inhibitor (PPI) treatment in dual-antiplatelet-treated patients at risk of UGIB and to assess the significance of dual antiplatelet therapy compliance for cardiovascular events.

Patients and methods

In a register-based randomized-controlled trial, 2009 patients were included at the time of first percutaneous coronary intervention and randomized to either screening or control. Screened high-risk patients were prescribed pantoprazole 40 mg during the 1-year after percutaneous coronary intervention.


The incidence of UGIB was 0.8 versus 1.3% in screened patients and controls, respectively (P=0.381).


Significantly fewer screened patients (5.4%) than controls (8.0%) underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy (P=0.026). Screened patients (2.9%) had significantly fewer events of unstable angina pectoris than controls (4.7%) (P=0.036) and a higher compliance to dual antiplatelet therapy (88.3 vs. 85.0%) (P=0.035), but no statistically difference was observed in the incidences of myocardial infarction and all-cause mortality (1.0 vs. 1.5%) (P=0.422).


Screening for risk factors for UGIB and subsequent prophylactic PPI treatment did not significantly reduce the incidence of UGIB. Prescription of PPI was associated with a higher compliance with dual antiplatelet therapy and decreases the risk of recurrent cardiovascular events.

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