Ulcerative colitis with hepatitis B virus infection treated successfully by granulocyte monocyte apheresis

J Clin Apher. 2016 Dec;31(6):584-586. doi: 10.1002/jca.21450. Epub 2016 Feb 15.


Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a major type of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Immunosuppressive therapies are used to treat IBD patients. Clinicians have strong concerns about using immunosuppressive therapies for IBD patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection because aggressive immunosuppressive therapy can promote reactivation of HBV. For that reason, physicians hesitate to use steroids or other immunosuppressive drugs for IBD patients with HBV infection. Granulocyte monocyte apheresis (GMA) is a safe and effective therapy for UC patients. In Japan, a maximum of 11 sessions of GMA are allowed for moderate-to-severe, steroid-resistant UC patients. However, the effects of GMA on HBV remain unclear. This case report describes a 39-year-old man with active UC complicated by HBV infection. Although his symptoms improved with steroid treatment while under entecavir therapy, clinical remission could not be maintained after the steroid dosage was decreased, so GMA was started. After GMA initiation, the frequency of diarrhea decreased and his symptoms improved, and the steroid dosage could be decreased. During the course of GMA, the patient did not experience deterioration in his hepatitis and the HBV DNA level gradually decreased, although GMA itself did not affect the HBV DNA level during each session of GMA. Results show that GMA is a safe and efficacious strategy against UC complicated by HBV without affecting hepatitis because GMA had no remarkable effect on HBV activity. J. Clin. Apheresis 31:584-586, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: granulocyte monocyte apheresis; hepatitis B virus infection; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Component Removal / methods*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / therapy*
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Granulocytes
  • Hepatitis B* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monocytes
  • Remission Induction
  • Steroids / pharmacology
  • Steroids / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • DNA, Viral
  • Steroids