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Acute gastric ulcer

Reviewer: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 31 July 2012, last major update July 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2012, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Also called stress ulcer
● Severe form of acute gastritis in which erosion reaches muscularis mucosa
● Some authors consider large erosions to be stress ulcers
● If underlying condition resolves, complete healing occurs
● Common autopsy finding
● Causes: NSAIDs, steroids, severe physiologic stress (shock, extensive burns, sepsis, severe trauma, increased intracranial pressure, post-intracranial surgery, intensive care unit), systemic amyloidosis, post-chemotherapy, radiation therapy
● Complications: bleeding (may be massive; 1-4% of patients require transfusion), perforation, obstruction from edema/scarring

Specific forms:
● Curling ulcer: severe burns and duodenal ulcer
● Cushing ulcer: increased intracranial pressure and gastric, esophageal, or duodenal ulcers

Gross images

Various images

Micro description

● Usually < 1 cm, often multiple, small brown circular ulcer base (digested blood) anywhere in stomach
● No induration of margins of ulcer - abrupt lesions with normal adjacent mucosa; no scarring or blood vessel thickening

Gross images

Various images

End of Stomach > Gastritis > Acute gastric ulcer

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