Human growth hormone was effective in healing erosions and controlling hemorrhage in six of eight patients with stress ulcers. This approach was based on known beneficial effects of growth hormone on nucleic acid and protein synthesis, demonstration of deleterious effects of stress on nucleic acid and protein synthesis, and demonstrated protective effects of growth hormone on animals subjected to stress. Bleeding cessation within 24 hours of its administration in two patients suggests the possible role of additional mechanisms involved in hemostasis. In a comparable group of eight patients with stress ulcer hemorrhage not treated with this agent, six died with continued bleeding. This high mortality represented the usual outcome in our patients with stress ulcer hemorrhage. These observations need to be extended to additional patients with stress ulcers in a larger randomized study.