Cyclosporine is effective in steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis and can be used as an alternative to glucocorticosteroids in patients with severe attacks.
In this study, doctors from Belgium investigated the long-term efficacy of cyclosporine in ulcerative colitis.
|"Azathioprine-naive patients have better outcomes".|
|Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
The team evaluated patients admitted with an attack of ulcerative colitis who were treated with intravenous cyclosporine between 1992 and 2004.
The doctors found that 83% of patients had an initial response to cyclosporine and avoided colectomy during hospitalization. However, of these, 54% required a future colectomy.
The team determined that the rate of colectomy in patients already on azathioprine compared with those starting azathioprine concurrently with cyclosporine was 59% vs 31%, respectively.
Furthermore, 88% of patients already on azathioprine and who required colectomy underwent surgery within a year of receiving cyclosporine.
Although 33% of patients required colectomy at 1 year, 88% required colectomy at 7 years.
Dr David Moskovitz's team concluded, "Cyclosporine is an effective short- to medium-term treatment for patients with severe ulcerative colitis but at 7 years, 88% of patients will require a colectomy".
"Azathioprine-naive patients have better outcomes".