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J Clin Gastroenterol. 1999 Sep;29(2):151-4.

Cyclosporine therapy in inflammatory bowel disease: short-term and long-term results.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick 08901, USA.


Intravenous cyclosporine therapy followed by oral cyclosporine therapy reduce the need for urgent surgery in steroid-refractory inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Our objective is to report short- and long-term results of cyclosporine therapy in IBD patients. Thirteen patients with steroid-refractory IBD, seven patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), and six patients with Crohn's disease (CD) were treated with intravenous cyclosporine (4 mg/kg/day) for a mean period of 11.4+/-2.8 days (range, 4-15 days). Subsequently the patients were started on oral cyclosporine (8 mg/kg/day) and followed for a mean of 10.3+/-10 months (range, 1-30 months). Twelve patients responded to intravenous cyclosporine therapy. One patient with UC developed sepsis on the fourth day of intravenous cyclosporine therapy and needed urgent colectomy. Nine of 12 initial responders (6 patients with UC and 3 patients with CD) relapsed during follow-up despite oral cyclosporine and underwent elective surgery. One patient with CD relapsed 3 months after discontinuation of oral cyclosporine. Only two patients with CD are in long-term remission. There were no long-term side effects in any of the 13 treated patients. In conclusion, intravenous cyclosporine was effective in inducing remission or significant improvement in 12 of 13 patients with steroid-refractory IBD. However, with subsequent oral cyclosporine the remission could be maintained only for a short while. Each of the six patients with UC needed colectomy and three of the five patients with CD had intestinal resection within 12 months despite oral cyclosporine therapy.

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