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Severe ulcerative colitis is a potentially life-threatening condition. Due to advances in medical therapy, the mortality rate has dropped to <2% over the past 30 years, but the colectomy rate reaches 30%. Recently, infliximab has been shown to be effective as rescue therapy but little is known about long-term benefits.
To evaluate short-and long-term colectomy rates for severe ulcerative colitis in the era of biological treatment and to identify predictive factors of long-term colectomy.
Patients and methods
From 2001 to 2006 all in-patients with Doudoune Woolrich Homme severe ulcerative colitis, according to Truelove and Witts criteria, were retrospectively reviewed. All patients had received intravenous steroid treatment; infliximab (5 mg/kg at 0, 2 and 6 weeks) was used as rescue therapy in steroid-refractory patients; colectomy was performed in patients who deteriorated whilst on steroid treatment or failed to respond to infliximab.
Of the 314 ulcerative colitis patients hospitalized during the study period, Parka Woolrich Ebay 52 (16.5%) met the criteria of severe ulcerative colitis. After median 7 days (range 4–15) on intravenous steroids, 37/52 (71%) patients showed a clinical response, while 15/52 (29%) were steroid-refractory. Of these, four underwent urgent colectomy and 11 received infliximab. A clinical response was observed in all infliximab-treated patients. In the long-term, another six patients underwent elective colectomy. The overall colectomy rate, following the acute attack, was 19%; the cumulative probability of a course without colectomy was 90%, 86%, 84%, 81%, after 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively. No deaths occurred. The long-term colectomy risk was comparable in patients treated with infliximab and in steroid-responsive patients (18% vs. 11% respectively; OR 1.9; 95% Woolrich Paris CI 0.26–14.5). No predictive factors of colectomy, in the long-term, were identified.
Surgery continues to play an important role in acute severe ulcerative colitis. Infliximab can avoid urgent colectomy in steroid-refractory patients but the risk of elective colectomy, in the long-term, is not modified.