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Pathophysiology and causes of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage 

Pathophysiology and causes of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage
Pathophysiology and causes of upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage

Tasneem Pirani

and Tony Rahman

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date: 23 January 2022

Specific causes for upper gastrointestinal haemorrhage (UGIH) can often be ascertained through accurate history and examination. Causes can be thought of anatomically, as certain pathophysiological processes have a predilection for specific areas of the upper gastrointestinal tract, while other processes are diffuse. Specific treatment modalities exist for certain causes and therefore accurate assessment aids the tailoring of therapy. Peptic ulcer disease (PUD) is the most common cause of UGIH and Helicobacter pylori testing is recommended for all patients diagnosed with PUD. Understanding the risk factors associated with UGIH enables the physician to adopt preventative strategies such as gastric protection for high-risk patients on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.

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