Impact of Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis Discontinuation Guidance in Mechanically Ventilated, Critically Ill Patients: A Pre-Post Cohort Study

Christopher A. Jones, Kevin D. Betthauser, Bryan D. Lizza, Paul A. Juang, Scott T. Micek, Marin H. Kollef

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Recent data highlight unclear efficacy and potential negative sequelae of stress ulcer prophylaxis (SUP) in the intensive care unit (ICU). Minimizing SUP exposure has pertinent clinical and other implications. This study assessed medication use and clinical outcomes before and after implementation of a practice guideline promoting early discontinuation of SUP in mechanically ventilated ICU patients. Methods: Retrospective, single-center, pre-post cohort study within a medical ICU at a large, academic medical center. Adult patients requiring mechanical ventilation and receiving SUP via a histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) or proton pump inhibitor (PPI) were eligible for inclusion. The clinical practice guideline was implemented on January 1, 2020. The impact of implementation was assessed via percent of patient-days with inappropriate SUP. Incidence of clinically important GI bleed was the primary safety outcome. Results: A total of 137 pre-guideline and 112 post-guideline patients were included. Comorbidity burden was similar between groups. A higher prevalence of baseline vasopressor receipt (39% vs 67%, P <.01) and acute kidney injury (56% vs 69%, P =.04) was observed in post-guideline patients. Post-guideline patients experienced a significantly lower percentage of patient-days of inappropriate SUP (25% vs 50%, P <.01) as well as higher rates of SUP discontinuation before extubation (71% vs 12%, P <.01) and during ICU stay (93% vs 50%, P <.01). Post-guideline patients observed a significantly lower incidence of SUP at hospital discharge (4% vs 35%, P <.01). No differences in bleeding outcomes were observed, though post-guideline patients experienced longer durations of mechanical ventilation, ICU stay, and hospital stay. Conclusions: Implementation of an early SUP discontinuation guideline was associated with significant improvements in SUP prescribing practices. Baseline differences between groups likely explain observed differences in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalHospital Pharmacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • critical care
  • gastrointestinal bleed
  • histamine-2 receptor antagonist
  • proton pump inhibitor
  • stress ulcer prophylaxis


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