Endoscopic Surveillance for Gastric Ulcers

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Abstract

Objective

Gastric ulcers (GUs) can be caused by a malignancy, and endoscopists are challenged with the question of how to rule out underlying malignancy. Although routine endoscopic surveillance is not advised, it is still overused. The purpose of this study was to explore the practice in our tertiary referral center during the last 3 years.

Methods

We retrospectively reviewed all inpatient and outpatient esophagogastroduodenoscopies (EGDs) that were performed between November 2009 and November 2012 for GUs. Patients with GUs who normally would not undergo biopsy, such as patients who present with bleeding or had stigmata of high-risk bleeding, were excluded.

Results

A total of 165 patients were diagnosed between November 2009 and November 2012 as having GUs on EGD. Fifty-two patients were excluded because they presented with bleeding or had GUs that had stigmata of high-risk bleeding. We reviewed the charts of 113 patients and endoscopic surveillance was recommended for 96 (85%). Of those 96 patients, 72 (64%) underwent repeat EGD. In those 72 patients, GU was still present in 9 patients and was completely healed or healing in 63 patients. Only 25 (22%) GUs were biopsied at initial EGD, 23 of which were benign and 2 were adenocarcinomas. No additional malignancy was found on surveillance EGD.

Conclusions

EGD surveillance for GUs is a common practice, although the guidelines discourage such a practice. Our rate of endoscopic surveillance was significantly higher than reported previously (64% vs 25%). In our experience, such a high rate of surveillance did not reveal any additional gastric malignancy. Alternatively, the rate of biopsy of GUs at initial EGD is low (22%), which also reflects endoscopists’ preference for endoscopic surveillance.

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