Daniel Vasile Balaban, Mariana Jinga, Crohn’s Disease Recent Advances
Apheresis in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Current Evidence
While leukocyte-derived proinflammatory cytokines have been validated as successful targets in IBD treatment, so should leukocytes themselves be considered as treatment options. As activated leukocytes migrate into the bowel wall and drive the inflammatory cascade in IBD patients, their depletion by apheresis techniques are considered beneficial to control the mucosal inflammation.
Leukapheresis, consisting in either granulomonocyte apheresis or leukocyte apheresis, are cell-based therapies with promising results in some patient categories and with a good safety profile. They have been studied as an alternative in patients with steroid toxicity, dependency or refractoriness, or in the event of contraindications to conventional therapy. Most of the early studies were not controlled, with only a few randomized controlled trials providing quality data on their efficacy. Future studies should be designed to look at selection of IBD patients who benefit most and safely from this non-pharmacological therapy.
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