Evaluation of clinical patterns in ulcerative colitis: a long-term follow-up

G Bresci, G Parisi, L Gambardella, S Banti, M Bertoni, G Rindi, A Capria
International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology Research 1997, 17 (1): 17-22
The aim of this prospective research was to compare, in a seven-year follow-up, the clinical outcome of ulcerative pancolitis with that of non-progressive ulcerative colitis. The activity of the disease was evaluated by a Clinical Activity Index and an Endoscopic Index. Of 112 cases of ulcerative colitis observed, 95 showed no change in extent and were studied as examples of non-progressive UC, and in this group the extension of the disease was: pancolitis in 19%, left-sided colitis in 39%, proctosigmoiditis in 17% and proctitis in 25%. A colectomy had to be performed in 5%. None of the enrolled cases developed a cancer during the follow-up. The patients with ulcerative pancolitis or left-sided colitis were treated with 5-ASA 1.6 g/day in a delayed-release formulation, while the cases with proctosigmoiditis or proctitis were treated with 5-ASA enemas 4 g/day. The cases with more than one relapse/year were 39%. The proportion of patients with only one relapse/year was 53%. The patients with steady remission for all the seven years of the trial were only 8%, but with a statistically significant difference between the groups with initial diagnosis of proctosigmoiditis or proctitis and the group with initial diagnosis of pancolitis or left-sided colitis (12% versus 5%). Among the cases with continuous remission, 37% showed colonic alterations, with an endoscopic score higher than 4 but a clinical score less than 6. Side-effects were observed in 6% patients but without treatment withdrawal. Non-progressive ulcerative colitis throughout the colon has a relatively good prognosis which seems to be independent of the location of the disease, even if we have found a statistically significant higher percentage of cases with steady remission among the patients with more distal disease.

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