[A case of refractory pouchitis following surgery for ulcerative colitis successfully treated with adalimumab]

Seiya Kato, Yuko Sakakibara, Akio Ishihara, Tetsuya Iwasaki, Satoshi Tanaka, Hiroko Hasegawa, Tomofumi Akasaka, Shoichi Nakazuru, Hisashi Ishida, Eiji Mita
Nihon Shokakibyo Gakkai Zasshi, the Japanese Journal of Gastro-enterology 2019, 116 (9): 732-738
Restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis (IPAA) is widely accepted as the operation of choice for refractory ulcerative colitis (UC), UC with dysplasia or cancer, or familial adenomatous polyposis. Pouchitis is the most frequent complication after IPAA for UC. Although the pathogenesis of pouchitis remains unclear, current evidence suggests that dysbiosis and mucosal immune response are important mechanisms. Antibiotics are the first-line treatment for the condition, but some patients develop chronic refractory pouchitis. Such cases can be treated with regimens such as longer courses of antibiotic combinations, mesalazine, corticosteroids, probiotics, or biologics. But if pouch inflammation is not ameliorated, a permanent ileostomy may be required. A 40-year-old man had undergone IPAA for UC and was diagnosed with pouchitis according to the Pouchitis Disease Activity Index. Antibiotics, mesalazine, and corticosteroids were given, but the inflammation was difficult to control. He developed chronic refractory pouchitis associated with perianal abscesses and anal fistulae. Following a seton procedure for fistulae, adalimumab (ADA) was administered. After 42 weeks, the ulcers in the pouch became scarred, and the anal fistulae were closed endoscopically. After remission was induced, it has been maintained. ADA is a fully human anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) monoclonal antibody that has been successfully used to treat refractory Crohn disease of the ileoanal pouch. Although some studies report that infliximab, a chimeric anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody, is efficacious in patients with refractory pouchitis, clinical evidence for the use of ADA is limited. This case illustrates achievement of induction and maintenance of remission of refractory pouchitis with ADA. It is possible that patients with this condition can avoid a permanent ileostomy with anti-TNF-α therapy. In the near future, further study of long-term clinical outcomes of anti-TNF-α therapy is expected.

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