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Journal of Crohn's and Colitis: 9 (10)


Laurence J. Egan, Ireland

Associate Editors

Maria T. Abreu, USAShomron Ben-Horin, IsraelSilvio Danese, ItalyPeter Lakatos, HungaryMiles Parkes, UKGijs van den Brink, NLSéverine Vermeire, Belgium


Published on behalf of

The use of Cyclosporin A in acute steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis: Long term outcomes

Lisa Sharkey, Fran Bredin, Allison Nightingale, Miles Parkes
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crohns.2010.10.004 91-94 First published online: 1 April 2011


Background and aims: Approximately 15% of patients with ulcerative colitis will have a severe flare requiring hospitalisation at some stage. For those who fail to respond to intravenous steroids Cyclosporin A (CyA) therapy is one option. We have evaluated the management of such patients in our centre and present the long term colectomy avoidance rates.

Methods: 38 consecutive patients receiving CyA for an acute, steroid-refractory flare of colitis were retrieved from our database. Records were unavailable for 2 patients and 2 received therapy twice, hence 38 episodes were analysed.

Results: 24/36 patients were male; median age 37 years. On admission 20 patients were taking oral steroids; 8 were taking a thiopurine and 7 patients were on no treatment. CyA was started a median of 8 days after admission (range 1–28) and most patients (32/38) received this orally at doses of 4.5–8.3 mg/kg. 15 patients have undergone colectomy, 11 of these during the same admission for lack of response to CyA. Of the patients who were discharged without surgery, 84% have still not required colectomy after a median follow-up of 3.8 years. Adverse effects were mostly minor, though two patients developed neutropenia on dual immunosuppression.

Conclusions: CyA can be administered orally with good tolerability. We use it as a bridging therapy to Azathioprine. In our population, 84% of those who responded to CyA have not required surgery.

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Cyclosporin
  • Colectomy
  • Azathioprine
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