Usually presents as chronic, upper abdominal pain related to eating a meal (dyspepsia).
Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and Helicobacter pylori infection are the most common causes.
There may be some epigastric tenderness, but often there are no other signs on physical examination.
Endoscopy is diagnostic and may show an ulcer in the stomach or proximal duodenum. H pylori infection should be sought.
In the absence of "alarm" (red flag) symptoms or signs, testing for and treating H pylori and/or empiric acid inhibition therapy is appropriate.
Most common complications are gastroduodenal bleeding and perforation, either of which may be the presenting symptom, particularly in patients taking NSAIDs.
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