A comparative study of bolus administration and continuous infusion of ranitidine on gastric pH with intragastric pH-probe
The high mortality rate associated with significant bleeding from stress ulceration has promoted efforts to prevent this complication in critically ill patients. Gastric pH is a key factor in the pathogenesis of stress ulceration and maintaining a pH of 4 or greater reduces the risk for development of the gastric ulceration. Our aim was to compare effects of intravenous bolus administration and continuous intravenous infusion of ranitidine on gastric pH in critically ill patients at the intensive care unit (ICU). Twenty patients who met the inclusion criteria were entered this prospective, randomized, cross over study. A total of 1500 gastric pH measurement was obtained for each phase of the study. Continuous infusion of ranitidine maintained a gastric pH greater than 4 over a longer period than that of bolus administration (22.1 hrs vs. 14.2 hrs, respectively; P<0.001). The pH-monitoring device which was made locally, was comparable to a standard international device. This study showed that continuous infusion of ranitidine was more effective than administration of an equivalent dose of the drug by bolus in maintaining the appropriate gastric pH required for the prevention of stress ulceration.