A team from Herlev, Denmark, compared systemic interferon-alpha-2A (IFN-alpha-2A) and prednisolone enemas in the treatment of left-sided ulcerative colitis.
16 ulcerative colitis patients received IFN-alpha-2A subcutaneously, three times weekly. The dosage given was 9 MIU three times weekly for the first week; 6 MIU in the second week; and 3 MIU in weeks 3-12. Another 16 patients received prednisolone enemas for 30 days (100 ml once daily, 0.25 mg of prednisolone/ml).
The Powell-Tuck Index, Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ) score, and rectal histological activities were assessed before and after treatment.
|IFN-alpha-2A improved UC disease activity.
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
13 patients in the IFN-alpha-2A group and all 16 in the prednisolone enema group completed the treatment.
The researchers found that IFN-alpha-2A treatment resulted in significant improvements in the Powell-Tuck Index, IBDQ score, and rectal histological activity scores.
In the enema group, significant improvements were found in the Powell-Tuck Index. However, no significant improvements were detected in the IBDQ scores or rectal histological scores.
There were found to be no differences between scores of the two groups, either before or after treatment.
Only moderate side-effects from the IFN-alpha-2A treatment were seen during the first 2-4 weeks of treatment.
Author S. M. Madsen, of the Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, said on behalf of the group, "IFN-alpha-2A treatment resulted in significant depression of the disease activity, as reflected by the Powell-Tuck Index, IBDQ score, and histological disease activity scoring.
"The preliminary trial thus suggests that IFN-alpha-2A may be effective in the treatment of active left-sided ulcerative colitis."
"Larger, randomized trials are, however, warranted to confirm this finding, owing to possible type II errors in group comparisons," it was concluded.