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, 44 (3), 206-10

Long-term Outcome of Ulcerative Colitis in Patients Who Achieve Clinical Remission With a First Course of Corticosteroids

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Long-term Outcome of Ulcerative Colitis in Patients Who Achieve Clinical Remission With a First Course of Corticosteroids

Esther Garcia-Planella et al. Dig Liver Dis.

Abstract

Background: Although the early outcomes of ulcerative colitis after a first course of corticosteroids are well known, data on long-term disease evolution in patients responding to a first corticosteroid course are scarce.

Aims: To evaluate the long-term clinical evolution in ulcerative colitis patients responding to a first course of corticosteroids and to identify those factors associated with a poorer outcome.

Methods: Retrospective review of 114 patients diagnosed with ulcerative colitis who responded to the first corticosteroid course, and did not start thereafter maintenance therapy with thiopurines were included.

Results: Corticosteroids were prescribed because of a moderate (78%) or a severe flare (22%). All but two patients followed maintenance treatment with mesalazine after corticosteroid discontinuation. After a median follow-up of 83 months (7-156), 72% of patients suffered new relapses leading to corticosteroid reintroduction in 65% of patients. The earlier corticosteroids were introduced in the course of ulcerative colitis, the higher the risk of relapse and corticosteroid reintroduction. Thiopurines were started in 51%, and infliximab in 19%. Eleven percent of patients underwent colectomy. No predictors of thiopurine use or colectomy were found.

Conclusions: Half of the ulcerative colitis patients responding to a first course of corticosteroids will require immunosuppressors mainly because of steroid-dependence.

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