Medical Definition of Duodenal ulcer

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Duodenal ulcer: A crater (ulcer) in the lining of the beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). Ulcer formation is caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori. Other factors predisposing a person to ulcers include anti-inflammatory medications and cigarette smoking. Ulcer pain may not correlate with the presence or severity of ulceration. Diagnosis is made with barium X-ray or endoscopy. Complications of ulcers include bleeding, perforation, and blockage. Treatment involves using antibiotics to eradicate H. pylori, eliminating risk factors, and preventing complications.

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Reviewed on 12/4/2018

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