Timna Naftali MD, Ben Novis MD, Itamar Pomeranz MD, George Leichtman MD, Yaakov Maor MD, Rivka Shapiro MD, Menachem Moskowitz MD, Beni Avidan MD, Yona Avni MD, Yoram Bujanover MD and Zvi Fireman MD
Background: About one-third of patients with severe ulcerative colitis do not respond to conventional therapy and require urgent colectomy. It was recently shown that cyclosporin is effective in some of these patients.
Objectives: To review the current experience of six hospitals in central Israel that used cyc-losporin in patients with severe ulcerative colitis.
Methods: The files of all 32 patients treated with cyclosporin for corticosteroid-resistant ulcerative colitis were reviewed. Activity of disease was measured by a clinical activity, index colonoscopy and laboratory tests.
Results: The average duration of treatment with intravenous cyclosporin was 12.7 days (range 9–28) after which the disease activity index dropped from an average of 14.22 to 4.74. The mean time for response was 7.5 days (4–14). Twelve patients (40%) required surgery within 6 months and another 6 patients (18.8%) were operated on after more than 6 months. Twelve patients (37%) maintained remission for at least 6 months and did not require surgery. In one patient treatment was stopped because of non-compliance and one was lost to follow-up. There were numerous side effects, but in only one case with neurotoxicity was treatment withdrawn.
Conclusions: Cyclosporin is a relatively safe and effective treatment for severe ulcerative colitis. It induced long-term remission in 37% of the patients, and in those who required surgery the treatment resulted in an improved clinical condition before the operation.