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J Crohns Colitis. 2016 Jan;10(1):31-7. doi: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv175. Epub 2015 Sep 28.

Long-term Outcomes in Steroid-refractory Ulcerative Colitis Treated with Tacrolimus Alone or in Combination with Purine Analogues.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany.
2
Department of Internal Medicine I, Agaplesion Markus Hospital, Frankfurt, Germany.
3
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Charite Medical School, Humboldt University of Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
4
Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology, Robert Bosch Hospital, Stuttgart, Germany.
5
Department of Internal Medicine I, Asklepios Klinik Nord, Hamburg, Germany.
6
Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck, Germany juergen.buening@uk-sh.de.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

Tacrolimus is recommended for the treatment of steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis (UC). Concomitantly started purine analogues (PAs) are used for the maintenance of remission, though their therapeutic relevance remains uncertain. Here we studied the role of PAs in the long-term outcome of steroid-refractory UC after tacrolimus treatment.

METHODS:

In five centres, charts of tacrolimus-treated UC patients with a steroid-refractory moderate to severe course were reviewed. Long-term efficacy was determined by colectomy rates and clinical remission in cases of colectomy-free survival for 3 months.

RESULTS:

We identified 156 patients (median age 34 years) with a median Lichtiger score of 12 (4-17) and pancolitis (E3) in 65% (101). The Kaplan-Meier curve for colectomy-free survival after month 3 showed a benefit in the PA group (p = 0.02). In patients treated with PA clinical remission was achieved in 82% (65/79) vs 67% (39/58) in those not treated with PA (p = 0.02). Time to colectomy was 2 years (median, 0.7-5.8) in the PA group and 0.8 years (0.3-4.7) in the group not treated with PAs (p = 0.02). Time to relapse was 1.2 years (median, 0.3-6.2) in patients with PA treatment and 0.5 years (0.3-3.9) in those without PA treatment (p = 0.05). Overall, clinical remission was achieved in 67% (104/156) of patients. Colectomy was performed in 29% (45/156) 0.5 years (median, 0.04-5.79) after initiation of tacrolimus. Ten (6%) patients had to stop tacrolimus due to adverse events and two (without PA treatment) died.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study supports the efficacy of tacrolimus in steroid-refractory UC. Purine analogues appear to be beneficial for the long-term outcome of these patients.

KEYWORDS:

Ulcerative colitis; tacrolimus; purine analogues

PMID:
26419459
DOI:
10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjv175
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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