Peptic ulceration in patients with chronic liver disease
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A prospective study was undertaken to determine the frequency of peptic ulceration in different forms of chronic liver disease and the effect of corticosteroid treatment. One hundred sixty-three patients with chronic liver disease underwent upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, 106 for investigation of dyspeptic symptoms and the remaining 57 for assessment of the presence of varices. Twenty-four peptic ulcers were found (14.7%), 12 duodenal, 8 gastric, and 4 prepyloric. Ulcers were found in 5 of 15 patients with hepatitis B surface-antigen-positive chronic active liver disease (33%), 10 of 46 patients with alcoholic liver disease (22%), 5 of 35 with primary biliary cirrhosis (14%), 2 of 19 with miscellaneous chronic liver diseases (10%), and 2 of 25 with cryptogenic cirrhosis (8%). Ulcers were not demonstrated in any of the 23 patients with hepatitis B surface-antigen-negative chronic active hepatitis. Thirty-one patients were receiving prednisolone therapy, 5 had peptic ulcer compared with 19 of the remaining 132 patients. This difference was not significant. Fifty-nine patients presented with gastrointestinal bleeding on 88 separate occasions. Peptic ulcer was the cause in 6% of these. In chronic liver disease peptic ulcers occurred with differing frequencies in different forms of the disease. This was unaffected by corticosteroid therapy. Peptic ulcers were rarely the cause of gastrointestinal bleeding.
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