Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 10, pp 2687–2694 | Cite as

Epinephrine Dose Has a Preventive Effect on the Occurrence of Stress Ulcer-Induced Gastrointestinal Bleeding in Critically Ill Patients

  • Aymeric BecqEmail author
  • Saik Urien
  • Maximilien Barret
  • Christophe Faisy
Original Article



Epinephrine may impair splanchnic blood flow, but the impact of epinephrine dose on the occurrence of clinically significant gastrointestinal bleeding (CSGB) caused by stress ulcer remains unclear. We investigated the effect of epinephrine dose on the occurrence of stress ulcer-related CSGB in intensive care unit (ICU) patients.


In this prospective, observational, cohort study conducted in a French teaching hospital, 40 consecutive ICU patients receiving epinephrine infusion in whom a stress ulcer was diagnosed by an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy were included, from February 2010 to July 2015. The effects of epinephrine dose, and other covariates, on the occurrence of stress ulcer-related CSGB were analyzed using a multiple logistic regression model for repeated measures: At each observation, each patient serves as his own control.


A total of 1484 time-dependent epinephrine dose modifications were available for analysis. The median epinephrine dose rate was 0.8 (0–9.5) mg/h, and the median epinephrine cumulative dose was 44.8 (2.6–2343) mg. Epinephrine, expressed as the average dose per day at time t, had a significant protective effect on the occurrence of stress ulcer (odds ratio 0.22; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.12–0.38; p < 0.0001, for a log10 increase of epinephrine dose). Enteral feeding had also a protective effect (odds ratio 0.55; 95% CI 0.41–0.72; p < 0.0001, for a log10 increase of kcal/day). Only renal replacement therapy increased the occurrence of stress ulcer in the model.


An increase in the average dose of epinephrine per day increased the time to occurrence of stress ulcer in critically ill patients.


Epinephrine dose Stress ulcer Critically ill patients Gastrointestinal bleeding Enteral nutrition 



We are indebted to Hélène Owczarek, from the medical intensive care unit of the European Georges Pompidou Hospital, for managing intensive care unit database.

Author’s contribution

AB is the guarantor of article. AB, SU, MB, and CF contributed to conception and study design, data collection and analysis, and drafting and revising of the manuscript. AB, SU, MB, and CF approved the final version of the article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None. This work was not sponsored by gifts or fellowships.

Supplementary material

10620_2018_5155_MOESM1_ESM.docx (368 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 368 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastroenterology and EndoscopySaint Antoine Hospital, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of GastroenterologyCochin Hospital, Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de ParisParisFrance
  3. 3.Clinical Investigations Center-1419 INSERMEA7323 - University Paris-Descartes Sorbonne-Paris CitéParisFrance

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