Ikeda, Hitoshi; Ishimaru, Yuki; Takayasu, Hajime; Fujino, Junko; Kisaki, Yoshiyuki; Otani, Yushi; Yamagishi, Junko; Tahara, Kazunori. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2006; 43:592-6. doi: 10.1097/01.mpg.0000237928.07729.79
Efficacy of Granulocyte Apheresis in Pediatric Patients With Ulcerative Colitis: A Pilot Study
Objectives: Granulocyte apheresis (GCAP), involving the removal of granulocytes from the blood, may improve clinical symptoms and facilitate a reduction in the dose of steroids in adult patients with ulcerative colitis. As a preliminary trial, GCAP was used to taper the dose of steroids in 4 pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis. Methods: Three males and 1 female ranging from 11 to 17 years old were treated with GCAP once per week for 5 consecutive weeks/course. The ages of patients at clinical onset ranged from 8 to 12 years and the length of time from the clinical onset to GCAP treatment ranged from 28 to 58 months (median, 38.5 months). Results: In 2 patients, symptoms and signs indicating disease activity improved after 2 courses of GCAP. Laboratory data and endoscopic findings also improved after treatment and the clinical efficacy was judged to be excellent in these patients. In 1 patient, GCAP improved laboratory and endoscopic hallmarks, but bloody stools persisted. Finally, the treatment was ineffective in the fourth patient who eventually underwent surgery. Conclusions: GCAP is effective in improving clinical symptoms and may play an important role in converting steroid therapy to other treatments in children with steroid-refractory or steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis.
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