Limited effects of antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with Child–Pugh class A/B cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding

Te Sheng Chang, Ying Huang Tsai, Yi Heng Lin, Chun Hsien Chen, Chung Kuang Lu, Wen Shih Huang, Yao Hsu Yang, Wei Ming Chen, Yung Yu Hsieh, Yu Chih Wu, Shui Yi Tung, Yen Hua Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

8 Scopus citations


Current guidelines recommend antibiotic prophylaxis for all patients with various degrees of cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal (UGI) bleeding. This study assessed the need for antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with low Child–Pugh scores. We retrospectively screened all patients with cirrhosis who underwent upper endoscopies for UGI bleeding in a referral hospital in Taiwan between 2003 and 2014, from which 913 patients were enrolled after excluding patients with active bacterial infections, recent antibiotic use, early death, and Child–Pugh class C cirrhosis. Among them, 73 (8%) received prophylactic antibiotics, and 45 (4.9%) exhibited 14-day bacterial infection. Neither Child–Pugh score nor model for end stage liver disease score were optimal for predicting bacterial infection because their areas under the curves were 0.610 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.529–0.691) and 0.666 (95% CI: 0.591–0.742), respectively. Antibiotic prophylaxis did not reduce the risks of 14-day bacterial infection (relative risk [RR]: 0.932, 95% CI: 0.300–2.891, P = 0.902), 14-day rebleeding (RR: 0.791, 95% CI: 0.287–2.181, P = 0.650), or 42-day mortality (RR: 2.710, 95% CI: 0.769–9.524, P = 0.121). The results remained similar after propensity score adjustment. On-demand antibiotic treatment might suffice for patients with Child–Pugh class A/B cirrhosis and UGI bleeding.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0229101
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
StatePublished - 01 02 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Limited effects of antibiotic prophylaxis in patients with Child–Pugh class A/B cirrhosis and upper gastrointestinal bleeding'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this