Use of proton pump inhibitors is associated with a higher risk of pneumonia in cirrhotic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Authors Wasit Wongtrakul, Nipith Charoenngam, Patompong Ungprasert.


Background Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed for cirrhotic patients. However, the use of PPIs in these patients may increase the risk of bacterial infection. The current study aimed to investigate the risk of developing pneumonia among cirrhotic patients exposed to PPIs.

Methods A literature search was independently conducted by 2 investigators using the MEDLINE and EMBASE databases up to September 2019. To be eligible, a study had to be an observational (cohort, case-control or cross-sectional) study that included one group of cirrhotic patients with PPI use and another group of cirrhotic patients without PPI use. Effect estimates of the association between PPI use and pneumonia had to be reported. Point estimates and standard errors from each eligible study were combined together using the generic inverse variance method of DerSimonian and Laird.

Results Of 1947 articles identified from the 2 databases, 3 cohort and 5 cross-sectional studies with 40,295 participants met the eligibility criteria and were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled analysis found that cirrhotic patients with a history of PPI use had a significantly higher risk of developing pneumonia than those without PPI use, with a pooled risk ratio of 1.36 (95% confidence interval 1.00-1.85; I2 47%).

Conclusion A significantly increased risk of pneumonia among cirrhotic patients exposed to PPIs was demonstrated in this study.

Keywords Pneumonia, proton pump inhibitors, cirrhosis, epidemiology, meta-analysis

Ann Gastroenterol 2020; 33 (3): 277-284

Original Articles