Cytokines such as TNF-α have a validated role in the immunopathogensis of ulcerative colitis (UC), and intercepting inflammatory cytokines is currently the best option for maximizing treatment efficacy. One of the major sources of inflammatory cytokines are myeloid linage leucocytes (granulocytes, monocytes), which are present in great numbers in the colonic tissue. Their selective depletion by adsorptive granulocyte, monocyte apheresis (GMA), should be therapeutic in patients with UC, although until now efficacy outcomes have been both encouraging and disappointing. The authors' view is that in patients with UC, there is an evolving scope for therapeutic opportunity based on taking away the sources of inflammatory cytokines, also considering the favorable safety profile of GMA.
Keywords: colonoscopy; granulocyte and monocyte apheresis; loss of mucosal tissue; mucosal biopsy; neutrophil infiltration; neutrophils and monocytes; ulcerative colitis.