Adsorptive cytapheresis in ulcerative colitis: A non-pharmacological therapeutic approach revisited

J Clin Apher. 2023 Dec;38(6):746-754. doi: 10.1002/jca.22091. Epub 2023 Oct 3.


Adsorptive cytapheresis proves effective in a proportion of patients affected by ulcerative colitis. Relatively high cost and the need for apheresis facilities, prevented the widespread use of this therapeutic approach. More so following the introduction of anti-TNFα biosimilars which proved both effective and inexpensive. Anti-TNFα agents, however, are burdened by high rate of primary and secondary non-response and prompt switching to new, high-cost biologics, and small molecules. The present review analyzes advantages and disadvantages of adsorptive cytapheresis in the present clinical scenario and suggests its repositioning in the therapeutic workup of selected subgroups of ulcerative colitis patients. The extremely favorable safety profile makes adsorptive cytapheresis a viable therapeutic option in elderly and high-risk UC patients, as well as potential second-line treatment in corticosteroid-dependent patients and poor responders to first-line biologics.

Keywords: adsorptive cytapheresis; efficacy; inflammatory bowel diseases; mechanisms of action; safety; side effects; ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals* / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ulcerative* / therapy
  • Cytapheresis
  • Granulocytes
  • Humans
  • Monocytes
  • Remission Induction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha


  • Biosimilar Pharmaceuticals
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha