News: GLP-1 RA use may increase risk factors for aspiration under anesthesia, new study warns

CDI Strategies - Volume 18, Issue 11

Patients who take glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RA) have significantly higher residual gastric content, a major risk factor for aspiration under anesthesia, according to a new study published in JAMA Surgery. The use of GLP-1 RAs has increased in order to manage weight and hyperglycemia, but safety concerns have risen the drugs’ association with slow gastric emptying, Medscape Medical News reported.

The study was made up of 124 participants with a median age of 56 years, half of whom received once-weekly GLP-1 RAs (such as semaglutide, dulaglutide, or tirzepatide). All adhered to the guideline-recommended fasting duration before undergoing elective procedures under anesthesia. Researchers used gastric ultrasonography to examine the link between GLP-1 RA use and the prevalence of increased residual gastric content by identifying increased residual gastric content, defined by the presence of solids, thick liquids, or greater than 1.5 mL/kg of clear liquids on ultrasound.

Based on their findings, participants who received GLP-1 RA had a 30.5% higher prevalence of increased residual gastric content. No significant association was found between the type of GLP-1 RA used.

“We expect healthcare professionals will encounter these classes of drugs with increasing frequency in the perioperative period. Perioperative physicians, including anesthesiologists, surgeons, and primary care physicians, should be well-informed about the safety implications of GLP-1 RA drugs,” the authors wrote.

Editor’s note: To read Medscape Medical News’ coverage of the story, click here. To access the JAMA Surgery study, click here.

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Clinical & Coding, News

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