peptic ulcer

Definition of peptic ulcer

(Med.) an erosion of the mucous membrane forming the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or lower esophagus, originally believed to be due mostly to the action of gastric juice. Recently, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori has been implicated as a causal agent in many peptic ulcers. In other cases, the use of non-steroidal antiinflammatory agents (NSAIDs) such as aspirin are believed to be to blame. Such ulcers may be treated with antibiotics or antisecretory agents that reduce stomach acidity, or both. Formerly believed to be a chronic illness that could only be managed, it is now viewed as a curable disease.

See also: Peptic

Related Words

duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, peptic ulceration, ulcer, ulceration
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