Stress-Induced Gastritis Workup

Updated: Aug 26, 2018
  • Author: Rohan C Clarke, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Workup

Laboratory Studies

A high degree of clinical awareness is the key to early diagnosis of stress-induced gastritis. The presence of any of the previously discussed clinical features should alert the clinician to the presence of stress gastritis.

Useful investigations and diagnostic tools include the following:

  • Hematocrit level

  • Coagulation profile

  • Helicobacter pylori studies (eg, urease breath test, stool antigen test) for refractory stress ulceration

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Procedures

Nasogastric tube and lavage

Gastric lavage is a useful test to confirm whether blood is present in the upper gastrointestinal tract [1] and to quantify the amount of blood if found. This is roughly assessed by how much normal saline it takes before the aspirate becomes clear.

Endoscopy

Endoscopy is useful only in the diagnosis of stress-induced gastritis.

For patients with burns, the presence of epigastric pain and major burns covering more than 20% of the total body surface area is significantly associated with the development of Curling ulcer, as revealed with endoscopy. [6]

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