News Release

Certain ulcer medications may increase risk of acute kidney injury after heart surgery

Reports and Proceedings

American Society of Nephrology


  • Among adults undergoing cardiac surgery, those who took proton pump inhibitors before surgery were more likely to develop acute kidney injury and to die during hospitalization.
  • Results from the study will be presented online at ASN Kidney Week 2021 November 4–November 7.

San Diego (November 4, 2021) — Acute kidney injury (AKI), an abrupt decline in kidney function, often arises after major surgeries. A recent analysis indicates that taking certain reflux and ulcer medications that reduce stomach acid may put patients at an elevated risk of developing AKI following cardiac surgery. The findings will be presented online at ASN Kidney Week 2021 November 4–November 7.

The study included medical information from 2 groups. The Severance cardiac surgery cohort consisted of 6,555 adults who underwent cardiac surgery between 2011 and 2020. The National Health Insurance Service-senior cohort included 2,939 older adults who underwent cardiac surgery between 2004 and 2015.

In the Severance cardiac surgery cohort, the rate of AKI requiring dialysis was 5.5% in those who used proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and 3.2% in those who did not. In-hospital mortality rates were 4.7% and 3.2%, respectively. After adjustments, PPI use was linked with a 2.2-times higher odds of developing AKI requiring dialysis and a 1.53-times higher odds of dying during hospitalization. The other cohort revealed comparable findings, showing that PPI us was linked with a 2.29-times higher odds of AKI requiring dialysis and a 2.25-times higher odds of in-hospital mortality.

“Our findings suggest that PPI exposure is a modifiable risk factor for cardiac surgery–associated AKI,” said lead author Hee Byung Koh, MD, of Yonsei University, in Seoul. “Stopping PPI before surgery may be a preventive strategy for AKI after cardiac surgery.”

Study: “Proton Pump Inhibitor Exposure and Risk of Acute Kidney Injury after Cardiac Surgery”

ASN Kidney Week 2021, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind, will provide a forum for nephrologists and other kidney health professionals to discuss the latest findings in research and engage in educational sessions related to advances in the care of patients with kidney diseases and related disorders.

Since 1966, ASN has been creating a world without kidney diseases by educating and informing, driving breakthroughs and innovation, and advocating for policies that create transformative changes in kidney medicine throughout the world. ASN has more than 21,000 members representing 131 countries. For more information, visit






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