Curling's ulcer is an acute gastric erosion resulting as a complication from severe burns when reduced plasma volume leads to ischemia and cell necrosis (sloughing) of the gastric mucosa. The condition was first described in 1823 and named for a doctor, Thomas Blizard Curling, who observed ten such patients in 1842.
|Other names||Curling ulcer|
These stress ulcers (actually shallow multiple erosions) were once a common complication of serious burns, presenting in over 10% of cases, and especially common in child burn victims. They result in perforation and hemorrhage more often than other forms of intestinal ulceration and had correspondingly high mortality rates (at least 80%).
A similar condition involving elevated intracranial pressure is known as Cushing's ulcer.
While emergency surgery was once the only treatment, combination therapies including enteral feeding with powerful antacids such as H2-receptor antagonists or, more recently, proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole have made Curling's ulcer a rare complication.
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