We conducted a multicenter study to investigate the efficacy of leukocytapheresis (LCAP) without concomitant steroid therapy in active ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. Twenty patients were enrolled. LCAP was performed twice a week for 3 weeks. The results revealed a significant decrease of the Lichtiger's clinical activity index (CAI) from 11.7±2.6 at baseline to 6.6±4.1 after the therapy. The endoscopic index and serum C-reactive protein levels also decreased significantly after the therapy. Of the 20 patients, 15 (75%) were assessed as responders (CAI≤4 or ΔCAI≥3), and 7 (35%) achieved complete remission (CAI≤4). No serious adverse reactions were encountered. The results suggest that LCAP is an effective and safe option for patients with active UC who had not received systemic steroid treatment.
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