Objective: The pathophysiological role of neutrophil and eosinophil granulocytes in relation to steroid enema treatment was studied in patients with distal ulcerative colitis and proctitis.
Methods: The rectal release of the neutrophil (myeloperoxidase, MPO), and eosinophil (eosinophilic cationic protein, ECP and eosinophil peroxidase, EPO) granule constituents were measured in 11 patients using intraluminal segmental perfusion of the rectum. The released amounts of MPO, ECP, and EPO in the perfusion fluids were determined by radioimmunoassays before and during prednisolone enema treatment and related to clinical, endoscopical, and histopathological data in addition to treatment outcome.
Results: Clinical activity and particularly endoscopic activity correlated well with intraluminal MPO concentrations both before and during treatment. At the end of the study, eight of 11 patients fulfilled predefined response criteria; all responding patients had significant decrease of MPO concentrations (p < 0.01). This decline of MPO concentration was seen after 7 days of treatment (p < 0.05) in the response group and often occurred before clinical improvement. There was a nonsignificant trend toward a decrease in the concentrations of ECP and EPO at the end of treatment in responders.