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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 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Localized interruption of the continuity of an epithelial surface, with an inflamed base.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a disintegration of the surface of the skin or a mucous membrane resulting in an open sore that heals very slowly
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Uzun donem kullananlar ve daha once dispeptik belirtiler gosterenler dahil olmak uzere hastalarin hicbiri ulser profilaksisi kullanmamaktaydi.
Ileocekal ulserlerin nedenlerinin taninmasinda kolonoskopinin oneminin arastirildigi retrospektif bir calismada, ileocekal ulser tanisi koyulan 52 hastanin; endoskopik tanisi ile histopatolojik tanisi %78,8 uyumlu bulunurken, kolonoskopi oncesi bu oran %17,3 olmaktadir.
(6,11) Hastalarda kanama nedeni olabilecek peptik ulser hikayesi nonsteroid antienflamatuvar tedavi kullanimi alkol sigara gibi predispozan bir faktor ya da aile hikayesi bulunmaz.
Ikinci grupta yer alan diger hastaliklar icinse, sigara icen kisjlerde sik gorulen ve sigara birakma basarisi dusuk olan, kronik hastaliklardan psikiyatrik hastaliklar ve peptik ulser secildi.
An irate Sean Kelly said: "We are going to ask the Ulser Council to take another look at this case.
The only dissatisfying part of this book is at its logical beginning: McBride never explains why the Ulser Protestants bought into the story in the first place.
(24) Sean Mac Airt, and Gearoid Mac Niocaill, The Annals of Ulser (To A.D.
Herpes genitalis, genc eriskin donemde gorulmesi, cinsel iliskiyle bulasmasi, agrili genital ulser ve lenfadenopatiye neden olmasiyla, genital herpes zoster'den ayirt edilebilir.
Radyolojik goruntuler uc planda incelenerek lezyonlarin yerlesim yeri, boyutu, konturu, buyume paterni (intraluminal/ekstraluminal/mikst), boyanma paterni (homojen/heterojen), kalsifikasyon, ulser, fistul ve nekroz varligi arastirildi.
Bu olgu sunumunda, ileri derecede incelme ile seyreden periferik korneal ulser gelismis bir Behcet hastaligi olgusu tartisilmistir.
Sistem sorgulamasinda karin ve gogus agrisi, fotofobi, genital ulser, oral aft, enflamatuvar bel agrisi ve yakin zamanda gecirilmis enfeksiyon tarif etmiyordu.