peptic ulcer

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A breach in the protective lining (mucosa) of the digestive tract caused by digestion of the mucosa by pepsin and acid. This may occur when pepsin and acid are present in abnormally high concentrations or when some other mechanism reduces the normal protective mechanisms of the mucosa. These include Helicobacter pylori infection and the use of aspirin and other NSAIDs. A peptic ulcer may be found in the oesophagus (oesophageal ulcer, associated with reflux oesophagitis); the stomach (see gastric ulcer); duodenum (see duodenal ulcer); jejunum (jejunal ulcer, usually in the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome); in a Meckel’s diverticulum; and close to a gastroenterostomy (stomal ulcer, anastomotic ulcer, marginal ulcer).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.

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