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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 13, Issue 6, Pages 489-493

Survey of Current Practices among Members of CAG in the Follow-Up of Patients Diagnosed with Gastric Ulcer

Niall P Breslin and Lloyd R Sutherland

Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 1999 Canadian Association of Gastroenterology. This open-access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (CC BY-NC) (, which permits reuse, distribution, and reproduction of the article, provided that the original work is properly cited and the reuse is restricted to noncommercial purposes.


INTRODUCTION: Guidelines recommend a policy of endoscopic follow-up of all gastric ulcers until healing. Analysis of data from the Alberta Endoscopy Project indicates that fewer than 50% of patients diagnosed with benign gastric ulcer had undergone a repeat procedure. The practice and attitudes of physician members of the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) on the follow-up of such patients were assessed.

METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to members of CAG. Respondents were asked to indicate their practice setting and to estimate the proportion of gastric ulcer patients in whom they perform follow-up endoscopy. They were also asked to indicate factors influencing this choice, including the role of Helicobacter pylori.

RESULTS: Fifty-seven per cent of 220 respondents indicated that they perform repeat endoscopy in 95% to 100% of individuals with benign gastric ulcer. The most common reasons influencing this choice were to ensure healing (86.3%) and to confirm the benign nature of the lesion (79.5%). Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use (83.2%) and patient ill health (62.9%) were the most common reasons for not repeating the endoscopy. Twenty per cent of individuals indicated that H pylori had influenced a change in their practice.

DISCUSSION: Physicians vary widely in their follow-up of benign gastric ulcer. Studies on the occurrence of gastric cancer in this setting are not unanimous in their conclusions. Subgroups of patients with NSAID exposure and successfully eradicated H pylori infection may have a lower risk of malignancy. Studies to confirm this are warranted, and modified guidelines may be appropriate.