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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2002 Apr;26(4):367-71.

[Compared azathioprine efficacy in ulcerative colitis and in Crohn's disease].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Unité de Gastroentérologie et Assistance Nutritive, Hôpital Jean Bernard, 86021 Poitiers, France.



To compare the 6-month efficacy and tolerance of azathioprine in 68 patients with steroid-resistant or steroid-dependent chronic ulcerative colitis (n=30) or Crohn's disease (n=38).


Clinical remission was defined as a Crohn's Disease Activity Index<150 for Crohn's disease and number of non-bloody stools<=3/day for ulcerative colitis, associated with prednisone requirement<=10 mg/day.


Seventy-three per cent of patients with ulcerative colitis had distal or left-sided colitis and 84% of patients with Crohn's disease had pancolitis. Azathioprine was discontinued early for side-effect in 8 (26.7%) patients with ulcerative colitis and in 8 (21.1%) patients with Crohn's disease (NS). In patients treated at least 6 months by azathioprine, clinical remission rates were 77.3% and 70% for chronic ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease (NS). Complete corticosteroids weaning was obtained significantly more often in ulcerative colitis patients than in Crohn's disease patients (59.1% vs 30%; P<0.05).


Azathioprine seems to be at least as effective and equally tolerated in steroid-resistant or steroid-dependent chronic ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease patients.

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