In a practice involving large numbers of unselected gastric ulcer patients, the problem of medical intractability and recurrence of benign peptic ulcers in the stomach has posed, for us, a greater difficulty than the initial differentiation from gastric cancer. Rigid adherence to a policy of thorough diagnostic study and, in appropriate cases, reliance on a strictly interpreted therapeutic trial have permitted an accuracy of differentiation approaching 99%. Nevertheless, in the satisfaction of being able to discern the benign from the malignant gastric ulcer, one can easily lose sight of the eventual gravity of benign ulcer disease. To confirm our suspicions of this gravity, we have reviewed the later courses of our patients with apparently benign gastric ulcer disease.
Patients Comprising the Study
At Henry Ford Hospital from Jan. 1, 1945, through Dec. 31, 1955, the diagnosis of benign gastric ulcer was initially recorded for 474 patients. It is emphasized that