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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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After 8 days of basic treatment, the ulcer size of patients in the control group had decreased, the ulcerous pseudomembrane had partially desquamated, there was reduced congestion surrounding the ulcers, and there was a decreased VAS score compared with that before treatment (Table 5).
Taking in consideration the fact that 80% of causes of all GIT hemorrhages are located proximally to Treitz ligament, esophagogastroduodenoscopy is recommended to be performed first, especially in the patients with hemodynamic instability, history of an ulcerous disease and those taking ulcerogenic drugs.
Or the fresh stems and roots were ground and plastered with wine for the treatment of traumatic injury, arthralgia with wind-dampness, pyogenic infection and ulcerous disease of skin and poisonous snake bite (State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1999).
They came to an isolated hut where there was one sick monk suffering from a serious ulcerous skin disease.
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At the best of times, the sandy, wind-blown Cape Flats, through which the route runs, has little or no appeal; the ulcerous squatter camps of miserable shanties and pondoks are dumping grounds of hopeless human lives.
Finding Gertrude's forehead empty of the leprous signs he has been taught to expect, Hamlet posits the existence instead of an "ulcerous place" where the "rank corruption, mining all within / Infects unseen" (3.4.147-149).
New, experimental-stage research involves taking skin stem cells and spraying them on burned or ulcerous areas and having them regrow directly on the human.
A biopsy of an ulcerous duodenal lesion showed edema, congested blood vessels and scarce inflammatory infiltrations.
To buy the book, visit Unbound www.unbound.co.uk To read the poems, their translations, and some of the stories behind their creation, visit www.26treasures.com PAUL MURPHY'S WORK INSPIRED BY THE TREASURE A SELF-PORTRAIT' BY SHANI RHYS JAMES Blood Cell Sweet transient taste of innocence so early imbibed lingers but fleetingly Light turns to shade brilliance leaches away Horizons shorten, perspectives distort Falling, falling, falling from grace Pitilessly the mind's eye cuts through layers of artifice so contrived worrying, distressing raw ulcerous weeping sores below Trapped and bereft she silently screams "out, out damn spot" echoing soundlessly down all those empty years.
Blood indices of the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in Aeromonas-induced ulcerous dermatitis.