Department of Internal Medicine, Saga Medical School, Saga, Japan. Department of Internal Medicine, Saga Medical School, Saga, Japansakatay99@gmail.com. Department of Medical Statistics, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
BACKGROUND Leukocyte removal therapy (LRT) is an effective treatment for active ulcerative colitis (UC). The present study was performed to evaluate the relapse-free period after LRT and identify risk factors for relapse. METHODS In total, 94 patients who underwent first-time LRT for remission of moderate to severe UC from April 2004 to March 2016 were enrolled in the present study.
The patients were randomly assigned to one of 2 treatments: leukocytapheresis (LCAP; n = 43) or granulocyte and monocyte/macrophage adsorptive apheresis (GMA; n = 51). The 5-year cumulative relapse-free rate and risk factors for relapse were evaluated. RESULTS The therapeutic response rate was 82% for GMA and 70% for LCAP without a statistically significant difference. The 5-year relapse-free rate was 34.7% in the LRT group. The 5-year relapse-free rate in patients aged > 40 years was 49.9%, which was significantly higher than that in patients aged ≤40 years (22.9%, p < 0.01). The relapse-free period was longer in the older than younger patients. CONCLUSIONS The relapse-free period after LRT was examined in patients with UC, and 34.7% of patients achieved clinical remission within a 5-year period. The risk factor for early relapse after LRT was younger age.