Send to

Choose Destination
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 1995 Jun;9(3):309-13.

Short-chain fatty acid topical treatment in distal ulcerative colitis.

Author information

Cattedra di Gastroenterologia 1, Univesità La Sapienza, Roma, Italy.



Some evidence indicates that short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) enemas are effective in the treatment of distal ulcerative colitis.


In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, we tested the efficacy of a 6-week course of topical SCFA (100 mL, twice daily enemas of sodium acetate 80 mmol/L, sodium propionate 30 mmol/L and sodium butyrate 40 mmol/L) in 40 patients with mild to moderate distal colitis. Clinical, endoscopic and histological data were collected at the beginning and end of the study.


Fourteen patients on SCFA improved (overall score 11.3 +/- 2.0 vs. 7.4 +/- 3.5) as compared to five in the placebo group (overall score 10.0 +/- 1.9 vs. 8.9 +/- 2.5). In the SCFA-treated group all parameters significantly improved except the number of bowel motions, whereas no significant changes were recorded in the control group. A statistically significant difference between the two treatment regimens, however, was observed only for intestinal bleeding (P < 0.05), urgency (P < 0.02) and the patient self-evaluation score (P < 0.05). This was probably due to the random inclusion of more patients with moderate disease into the SCFA-treated group, thus causing pretrial differences between the two groups.


The present study confirms that irrigation with SCFA enemas is effective in distal colitis, and may represent an alternative therapeutic tool in the treatment of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center