Repeat endoscopy could help heal ulcerative colitis

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Repeat endoscopy of benefit for ulcerative colitis treatment

Researchers assessed whether or not ulcerative colitis treatment might be improved with repeat endoscopy. Based on their findings, targeted treatment could lead to healing of the mucosa in the intestines.

Findings published this month in the online journal "Inflammatory Bowel Diseases" found patients who underwent at least 2 endoscopic exams and then had their medications adjusted based on histological and endoscopy findings were able to achieve healing of mucosa in the colon.

Ulcerative colitis (UC), like Crohn's disease, causes inflammation of the colon that can lead to disabling symptoms. But UC is different from Crohn's disease in that it only affects the intestine, while Crohn's can affect any part of the body. Both forms of IBD are thought to autoimmune disorders that may be triggered by viruses or bacteria.

The study


For the current study, researchers reviewed records of 60 people with active ulcerative colitis at baseline. Among the patient records reviewed, 44 and 48 people had active disease by lab (histologic) exam or visual exam, respectively

The impetus for the study was to clarify if repeated testing with endoscopy would lead to improved outcomes. The patients were followed for 76 weeks. Adjustment in medical therapy was associated with healing of the intestine, the authors found.

The study authors concluded: "Repeated assessment of endoscopic disease activity with adjustment of medical therapy to the target of MH is feasible in clinical practice in patients with ulcerative colitis, and seems to be of benefit."

The finding may be important because past recommendations have been to treat people suffering from ulcerative colitis based on symptoms. The new study shows repeated testing could deliver "targeted treatment" for UC.

"Inflammatory Bowel Diseases"
February 2014 - Volume 20 - Issue 2 - p 231-239
doi: 10.1097/01.MIB.0000437985.00190.aa

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons


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