How are gastric and duodenal ulcers differentiated?

Updated: Apr 26, 2021
  • Author: BS Anand, MD; Chief Editor: Philip O Katz, MD, FACP, FACG  more...
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Answer

Peptic ulcer disease can involve the stomach or duodenum. Gastric and duodenal ulcers usually cannot be differentiated based on history alone, although some findings may be suggestive (see DDx). Epigastric pain is the most common symptom of both gastric and duodenal ulcers, characterized by a gnawing or burning sensation and that occurs after meals—classically, shortly after meals with gastric ulcers and 2-3 hours afterward with duodenal ulcers.


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