Stress ulceration and the gastric mucosal barrier.

M. J. Zinner, L. Turtinen, N. J. Gurll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of the gastric mucosal barrier in the pathogenesis of post-traumatic stress ulcerations is far from clear. Clinical studies on critically ill patients have shown disrupted gastric mucosal barriers with hydrogen ion back diffusion, but no correlation has been made between these findings and gastric erosions. In addition, numerous assumptions concerning gastric secretions, pyloric loss and esophageal contributions to the assayed gastric juice have to be made in these patients. There is contradictory experimental evidence concerning the theory that gastric mucosal ischemia or hypotension disrupts the normal gastric mucosal barrier. In subhuman primate studies, there is no increased back diffusion acid during hypotension or during the reinfusion periods. Even though there may not be increased permeability to H+, the presence of acid is a requirement for the development of stress ulcerations. The role of agents such as bile salts and aspirin is clearer. If these agents are present, increased back diffusion of acid is likely, but its role in the pathophysiology of post-traumatic gastric erosion awaits further clarification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-213
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1975

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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