STEROID ID therapy for rheumatoid arthritis was initiated 15 years ago by Hench and his associates1 and has since been extensively and beneficially used for this and a number of other diseases. Several side effects of steroid therapy have been noted, but the one that has attracted the most attention from the surgeons has been the so-called "steroid ulcer." Reports of the complications of these ulcers began appearing in the literature in 1950,2-4 but most writers have dealt primarily with the incidence and etiology of these ulcers and relatively little has been written recently about their surgical complications. Since we have been confronted with a number of patients with steroid ulcers that hemorrhaged or perforated we felt that a review of our experience would be of value.
Meltzer and associates5 reported a 10.9% incidence of ulcers in patients receiving steroids for rheumatoid arthritis; a similar incidence