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March 1975

Neurologic Disorders Following Surgery for Peptic Ulcer Disease

Arch Neurol. 1975;32(3):206-207. doi:10.1001/archneur.1975.00490450086013

The neurologic status of 2,000 veterans who had had surgery for peptic ulcer between 1952 and 1957 was evaluated. In 1970, a total of 156 of these men were examined, 97 of whom had procedures that disrupted the normal continuity of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Twenty-one had neurologic disorders, including 17 patients with peripheral neuropathies. Procedures bypassing the ampulla of Vater were performed in 15 of these. The only detected factor associated with neurologic manifestations was weight loss since surgery.

A mortality study of the total population revealed 865 patients had died by the end of 1973. There were seven deaths attributed to neurologic causes, one in a patient with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and one in another with spinal paralysis. All seven were among the 70% of the deceased who had had surgery that disrupted the continuity of the upper gastrointestinal tract. Thus, we conclude that the type of surgery influenced the likeli-hood of neurologic complications, but at least for motor neuron disease, the increased risk was not appreciable.