Long-term evaluation of mild gastric irradiation as adjunctive therapy
Irradiation of the acid-secreting portions of the stomach is a valuable adjunctive procedure in the treatment of patients with peptic ulcer. The therapeutic effect depends upon suppression of secretion of gastric acid and pepsin. There is no correlation between the effect of the irradiation upon gastric secretion and the age of the patient or duration of the ulcer. There appears to have been a higher incidence of postirradiation achlorhydria in patients with gastric ulcer than in those with duodenal or jejunal ulcer. Recurrences of peptic ulcer invariably are preceded by the reappearance of hydrochloric acid. Peptic ulcer has never recurred during the period of sustained achlorhydria.
The inhibition of gastric secretion is variable in degree and duration, with a transitory or permanent anacidity in 10% of patients, and a greater than 50% reduction in 40%. The therapeutic benefits are reflected further in significantly reduced rates of recurrence, episodes of pain, and the complication of bleeding.
The possible carcinogenic potential of gastric irradiation cannot be accurately assessed at present; further study is necessary.
KeywordsPublic Health Hydrochloric Acid Therapeutic Effect Peptic Ulcer Gastric Acid
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