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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
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The Staffordshire bull terrier developed an ulcerated tumour on his foot in June 2017, leaving him in pain and unable to walk.
The ulcerated wounds were treated as open wounds with regular dressing for five days following which excision with local anesthesia was advised.
In this case, clinical examination revealed multiple nodular ulcerated lesions of varying sizes from 1 to 3 cm in diameter over the nasal cavity.
Caption: FIGURE 1: Lateral anterior border of the tongue showing a large ulcerated lesion with indurated borders.
Dentist did the coronoplasty of adjacent sharp cusp, and since the ulcer presented for more than two months they took incisional biopsy containing ulcerated lesion along with the normal looking margin being taken under local anesthesia and the specimen was sent for histopathological examination (HPE).
This explains the high degree of ulceration (61.20[+ or -]3.61 [mm.sup.2]) observed in ulcerated rats (Control 1) sacrificed 4 days after acetic acid ulcer induction.
A 48-year-old female patient presented with recurrent painful erythematous ulcerated lesions in right axilla and both groins since 4 years.
At the multidisciplinary meeting it was decided that the patient was not suitable for neoadjuvant therapy due to the fact that the cutaneous metastasis was ulcerated with chronic bleeding and that the surgical treatment of the ovarian pelvic and cutaneous tumour to be the first step of treatment.
Ultrasonic detection: Atherosclerotic plaques were defined when intima-media thickness (IMT) of posterior carotid artery wall= 1.2 mm, and classified into lipid-rich plaque, fibrous plaque, calcified plaque and ulcerated plaque according to two- dimensional ultrasonography.
The garden furniture broke into pieces and cut into Chris' leg, which became infected before worsening and becoming ulcerated because of his weight.
Non-melanoma skin cancer may first appear as: A new, unexplained skin change |which appears suddenly | A spot or sore which continues |to itch, hurt, scab, crust or bleed for more than four weeks or does not heal within four weeks Ulcerated areas or patches |where the skin has broken down and does not heal within four weeks The importance of knowing your skin: Moles and freckles on the skin |are common.