Sustained remission after steroids and leukocytapheresis induced response in steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis: results at 1 year

Dig Liver Dis. 2010 Jun;42(6):432-5. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2009.09.001. Epub 2009 Oct 14.


Background: Leukocytapheresis (LAP) could be an alternative treatment for steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis (UC).

Aims: To assess the duration of response at 1 year after this treatment.

Patients and methods: A prospective study in 18 patients with steroid-dependent UC treated with LAP plus steroids after failure or intolerance to immunomodulators. Clinical and endoscopic (Mayo Clinic index) examinations were performed at 1 month after the last apheresis and at 12 months. The clinical, endoscopic remission and the relapse during the 1-year follow-up were evaluated based on standard parameters.

Results: Induction of remission: clinical remission: 10/18 (55%). Partial response: 4. Endoscopic remission: 9 (50%), always accompanied by clinical remission. A significant correlation was observed between clinical remission and endoscopic remission (r(s)=0.894; p< or =0.001). At 1 year: sustained steroid-free clinical remission in 9 (50%), all of whom presented initial endoscopic remission. Remission and relapse before 1 year in 17%. A tendency for sustained remission at 1 year was observed when initial endoscopic remission was achieved.

Conclusions: Initial remission can be maintained at 1 year in half of the patients without the need for additional steroids. Complete remission and endoscopic mucosal healing is proposed as an objective for achieving a lasting response.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy*
  • Colonoscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Leukapheresis / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission Induction
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids