Home » AGEB Journal » Issues » Volume 84" » Fasc.3 - Original articles » Article details

Real world management of esophageal ulcers: analysis of their presentation, etiology, and outcomes

Journal Volume 84 - 2021
Issue Fasc.3 - Original articles
Author(s) D. L. Cohen 1, A. Bermont 1, V. Richter 1, H. Shirin 1
Full article
Full Article
PAGES 417-422
(1) The Gonczarowski Family Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, Shamir (Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center, Zerifin, affiliated with the Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Background and study aims: Esophageal ulcers are a rare cause of upper gastrointestinal morbidity and may be due to different etiologies. We sought to systematically evaluate patients with esophageal ulcers and describe their presentations, endoscopic findings, etiologies, treatments, and outcomes.

Patients and methods: Patients diagnosed with esophageal ulcers over an 11-year period were retrospectively identified from our institution’s electronic medical records.

Results: We identified 100 patients with esophageal ulcers (0.49% of patients undergoing upper endoscopy). Half of them presented due to gastrointestinal bleeding and three-quarters were admitted to the hospital. The majority were in the lower esophagus. Twenty-two unique etiologies, including multiple iatrogenic causes, were diagnosed in 91 of the cases. The most common etiology was gastroesophageal reflux disease (57%), followed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use (7%), malignancies (3%), vomiting (3%), caustic ingestion (2%), pill esophagitis (2%) and radiation (2%). Many etiologies showed a predilection for specific segments of the esophagus. Nine ulcers required endoscopic intervention and all were treated successfully. Repeat endoscopies were performed 5 times for diagnostic or “second look” reasons, none of which changed the patients’ diagnosis or treatment. No patients required surgery or stricture dilation. One patient’s ulcer was complicated by perforation and he subsequently died. Four other patients died from non-ulcer related causes.

Conclusions: While the majority of ulcers were due to gastroesophageal reflux disease, 22 different etiologies were identified. Many were due to medication or iatrogenic causes. Repeat endoscopy did not appear to be helpful. While the incidence was low, they were frequently associated with significant morbidity.

Keywords: esophageal diseases, ulcer, epidemiology, peptic esophagitis.

© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 34599565