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Intestinal ultrasound scan predicts corticosteroid failure and colectomy risk in patients with ulcerative colitis.

OBJECTIVE: Intestinal ultrasound (IUS) is an emerging modality for assessing disease activity, extent, and treatment response in ulcerative colitis. This study aimed to evaluate the potential of IUS in predicting severe flares, the need for rescue therapy (corticosteroid failure), and colectomy in patients with ulcerative colitis.

METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of medical records, collecting clinical and IUS data. The Milan Ultrasound Criteria (MUC) score was used to assess ulcerative colitis severity. Group comparisons were performed to identify differences in MUC scores between mild-to-moderate and severe ulcerative colitis, between steroid responders and nonresponders, and between patients who underwent colectomy and those who did not. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to predict outcomes in patients with ulcerative colitis.

RESULTS: This analysis included 102 patients with ulcerative colitis categorized as mild/moderate (60) or severe (42). MUC scores were significantly higher in the severe ulcerative colitis group compared with the mild/moderate group (P < 0.001). Analysis (using ROC) identified a cutoff MUC score of >8.54 to indicate severe ulcerative colitis with good sensitivity (64.29%) and excellent specificity (93.33%). Similarly, a cutoff of MUC > 10.54 showed promise in predicting corticosteroid failure, with acceptable sensitivity (50%) and high specificity (90.91%). Finally, a cutoff MUC score >12.5 demonstrated potential for predicting colectomy, exhibiting moderate sensitivity (55.56%) but excellent specificity (96.97%).

CONCLUSION: IUS may be useful for differentiating severe ulcerative colitis from mild-to-moderate disease, identifying early stage failure of corticosteroid therapy, and predicting the potential need for colectomy.

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