• A. Cushing’s ulcer
  • B. Curling’s ulcer ✓
  • C. Trophic ulcer
  • D. Peptic ulcer


Curling’s ulcer is the term used to describe an acute gastric ulcer that occurs as a complication of severe burns. This type of ulcer was first described by the Scottish surgeon Thomas Blizard Curling in the 19th century. The development of Curling’s ulcer is believed to be related to a combination of factors, including decreased blood flow to the stomach lining due to hypovolemia (low blood volume) resulting from the burn injury, as well as other systemic factors associated with severe burns.

Curling’s ulcers are typically located in the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine.

The pathophysiology of Curling’s ulcer involves a complex interplay of mechanisms. Severe burns can lead to a systemic inflammatory response, which in turn can cause changes in the mucosal lining of the stomach, making it more susceptible to damage from gastric acid. Additionally, the stress response following a burn injury can lead to increased secretion of gastric acid, further contributing to the development of ulcers.

Patients with Curling’s ulcers may present with symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding. Diagnosis is typically made through endoscopic examination of the stomach lining, which may reveal characteristic ulcerations.

Treatment of Curling’s ulcers involves addressing the underlying burn injury and providing supportive care to prevent complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding. This may include measures to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the stomach lining, as well as medications to reduce gastric acid secretion and promote healing of the ulcers.

In summary, Curling’s ulcer is a specific type of peptic ulcer that occurs as a complication of severe burns. Understanding the pathophysiology and appropriate management of this condition is crucial in caring for patients with extensive burn injuries.

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