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open sore or circumscribed erosion, usually slow to heal, on the skin or mucous membranes. It may develop as a result of injury; because of a circulatory disturbance, e.g., in varicose veins or after prolonged bed rest; or in association with such diseases as tuberculosis, syphilis, or leprosy. Corneal ulcers, which result from infection, allergy, or foreign objects in the eye, can cause visual impairment if not treated promptly. Some ulcers may develop into cancer. The underlying cause must be treated as well as the ulcerous lesion.

Peptic ulcer occurs in the mucous membrane of the intestinal tract. An estimated 90% of peptic ulcers are caused by infection with a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, strains of which promote the formation of ulcers by causing an inflammtory response in the cells of the stomach wall, making it more susceptible to the hydrochloric acid secreted by the stomach. Most commonly, it occurs in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or at the beginning of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer, the most common form) and causes abdominal pain, especially between meals.

Infection with the H. pylori bacterium, which is also associated with some stomach cancer, is very common, but not all strains promote the formation of ulcers. Approximately 50% of those over 60 in developed countries are infected; in developing countries the infection rate is much higher, and infection usually occurs earlier in life. Experts are as yet uncertain how the bacterium is spread. Around 20% of those infected develop ulcers. Peptic ulcer is found more frequently in men. Heavy aspirin or ibuprofen use and smoking increase the risk of ulcer development.

The connection of H. pylori infection with peptic ulcer was made in the early 1980s by Australian scientists Barry J. Marshall and J. Robin Warren. It previously was believed that peptic ulcers were caused by emotional stress, though since the early 1900s researchers had reported finding curved bacteria in the stomachs of dead patients with ulcers more often than in those without ulcers. Marshall and Warren were awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 2005 for their work. Treatment changed accordingly and now typically consists of antibiotics (such as clarithromycin or amoxicillin) plus metronidazole (Flagyl) and bismuth subsalicylate (e.g., Pepto-Bismol). For the relief of symptoms, drugs such as ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet), and omeprazole (Prilosec) may also be used. Hemorrhage or perforation of peptic ulcers requires emergency medical treatment.

The full set of genes (genome) of H. pylori was determined in 1997. This achievement will help researchers design new drugs to treat and prevent diseases caused by the bacterium.



a defect in the skin or mucous membrane resulting from tissue necrosis. Ulcers are frequently chronic in course and nonhealing, for example, trophic ulcers of the skin. They may be caused by prolonged mechanical (friction, pressure), thermal, chemical, and other actions on tissues, as well as by trophic disturbances of the nervous system, specific and nonspecific infections (tuberculosis, syphilis, leprosy, typhoid), and decomposition of a tumor. The development of an ulcer may also be fostered by metabolic disorders (for example, diabetes mellitus), chronic poisoning, vitamin deficiency, endocrinous disturbances, and exhaustion.

Ulcers vary in shape (round, oval, stellate), depth, and size. The base of an ulcer may be covered by granulations, a purulent deposit, or necrotic tissue. Deeply penetrating ulcers are dangerous because they destroy the walls of blood vessels and cause hemorrhages. If the course of the disease is favorable, the regenerative process is dominant and scarring occurs; however, recurrences are possible.

Treatment is directed toward curing the main disease. Physical therapy and any one of a variety of topical ointments and dressings may be prescribed. Surgery is required in refractory cases.



Localized interruption of the continuity of an epithelial surface, with an inflamed base.


a disintegration of the surface of the skin or a mucous membrane resulting in an open sore that heals very slowly
References in periodicals archive ?
It is documented that there are 20 million chronic wounds globally and, while several treatment options currently exist, efficacy cannot be guaranteed.
Chronic wounds are ''wounds that fail to progress through the normal, orderly, and timely sequence of repair; or wounds that pass through the repair process without restoring anatomic and functional results.
Further research inferred that close to 70 percent of those chronic wound strains produce a specific type of communication molecule - autoinducer-2 (AI-2).
We haven't yet tested these smart wound dressings on patients with chronic wounds, but that's our next step," says Cohen.
It is intensely satisfying -- at both personal and professional levels -- to develop a technology that has such a positive impact on patients' lives and has the potential to help heal non-healing chronic wounds instead of simply 'managing the wound' as other products do.
Our goal has always been to offer a cost effective and non-invasive treatment using proven science to treat acute and chronic wounds.
Nitric BioTherapeutics is a venture backed biopharmaceutical and medical device company developing treatments for the healing of chronic wounds and the resolution of infections using topical application of nitric oxide gas (gNO).
Economic factors aside, Enluxtra does more: it brings long-awaited relief to chronic wound sufferers, changing and saving people's lives.
Acute wound care procedural growth is expected to outpace chronic wound care due to better management of chronic wounds, resulting in lower chronic wound care procedural volumes," notes the analyst of this research service.
Bio-Bandage(TM) will allow Arteriocyte to continue to contribute to the accumulating evidence in the medical literature that platelets and their derived growth factors facilitate faster healing of chronic wounds.
Additionally, as chronic wound management improves and procedural volumes drop, acute wound care procedures are expected to grow at a faster pace than chronic wound care procedures.
Currently the Canadian Wound Association estimates the average time and expense to heal a chronic wound to be 165 days and $10,376 per instance.

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