Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease, with repeated remission and relapse, although the occurrence of relapse is difficult to predict.
Scientists from the First Department of Internal Medicine, at the Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Yamaguchi, Japan, conducted a prospective study to determine whether there is a relationship in ulcerative colitis between the inflammatory changes identified by endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) and relapse.
The research group recruited 23 ulcerative colitis patients who had not suffered a relapse for one month, and who had a Seo activity index of 150 or more and Baron grade 1 at colonoscopy.
The thickness of the first to the third layer of the rectal wall in these patients was measured by EUS at the start of the study.
All patients were subsequently followed up for one year to record any relapses. A relapse was defined as having a Seo activity index >150 and Baron grade 2 or higher at colonoscopy.
|Thickness of the rectal wall - greater before UC relapse|
Relapse occurred in 8 patients. The mean activity index of the relapsed patients was 187.3 (95 % confidennce interval (CI), 166.4 - 208.2) at the end of the study.
The thickness of the first to the third layer of the rectal wall, as evaluated by EUS at the beginning of the study, was significantly larger in the relapse group (mean 2.73 mm, 95 % CI 2.13 - 3.33 mm) than in the non-relapse group (1.79 mm; 1.56 - 1.99 mm).
The research team conclude that catheter probe-assisted endoluminal ultrasonography may predict the occurrence of relapse of ulcerative colitis.