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Gut. 1975 Aug;16(8):579-84.

Assessment of severity in colitis: a preliminary study.


Clinical features, alone and in combinations of up to five, noted early in patients during 181 admissions to one hospital for treatment of acute colitis over five years, have been correlated with the success or failure of drug treatment as judged by death during medical treatment or the need for urgent surgical treatment. Many of the 56 clinical features studied were of no value in predicting the outcome of the attack. The four features of greatest predictive value were the maximum daily body temperature, the maximum daily pulse rate, the bowel frequency and plasma albumin. The simplest and most discriminating prediction at the end of the first 24 hours in hospital was obtained by combining observations on maximum body temperature and the number of stools passed. Serial observations of temperature or pulse rate over the first four days in hospital gave more prognostic information than observations confined to the first day. The predictive value of certain other features, such as x-ray appearances, is described. A simple classification of severity in acute colitis is proposed from these results as a basis for prospective testing in other hospitals.

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