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April 1971

Autopsy Findings in the Upper Gastrointestinal Tract of 81 Burn Patients: A Review

Author Affiliations

From the Shriners Burns Institute, Cincinnati Unit, and the Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(4):412-416. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350040174033

A review of autopsy findings over a ten-year period in the gastrointestinal tract of 81 burn patients has been carried out. Erosive lesions were found in 46.9% of the cases, with frank ulcers in 23.5%. Esophageal lesions were present in 18.5%, gastric lesions in 27.7%, and duodenal lesions in 11.1%. The incidence of frank ulceration was 7.4% in the esophagus, 11.1% in the stomach, and 8.6% in the duodenum. The total percentage of erosive lesions found in the series is high, and it is postulated that increasing survival time may be responsible for this. The majority of the reported cases (54) were children under 15 years of age and the high ulcer incidence observed in this age group by other authors was found in this series. The incidence of esophageal lesions is unusually high and this may relate to the widespread use of Levin tubes.

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