• An active 80-year-old woman without a history of peptic ulcer disease, recent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use, or smoking developed severe, symptomatic epigastric pain initially diagnosed as nonulcer dyspepsia secondary to esophagitis. Initial treatment consisted of 12 weeks of full-dose H2-receptor antagonist therapy. During this therapy the patient developed multiple gastric ulcers confirmed by endoscopy, and continued to have significant dyspeptic symptoms. An additional 16 weeks of combination therapy with ranitidine and sucralfate failed to ameliorate upper gastrointestinal symptoms, and there was significant increase in gastric ulcer size. Repeated ulcer biopsies showed no malignancy. Prior to scheduling elective gastric ulcer surgery, a trial of oral prostaglandin E1 analogue therapy was initiated with an investigational agent. Within the first three weeks of therapy, there was significant symptomatic improvement. Endoscopy of the upper gastrointestinal tract at 12 weeks revealed complete ulcer healing. This case report suggests that prostaglandin E1 analogue therapy should be considered as an alternative to elective gastric ulcer surgery for patients with refractory gastric ulcer.
(Arch Intern Med 1988;148:2275-2276)