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Shorter Relapse-Free Period after Leukocyte Removal Therapy in Younger than Older Patients with Ulcerative Colitis

Satoko Yamasaki 1Yasuhisa Sakata 2Hisako Yoshida 3Sinpei Shirai 1Yuichiro Tanaka 1Ryo Nakano 1Takahiro Yukimoto 1Nanae Tsuruoka 1Ryo Shimoda 1Makoto Fukuda 1Motoaki Miyazono 1Yuji Ikeda 1Ryuichi Iwakiri 1Keizo Anzai 1Kazuma Fujimoto 1 , Digestion. 2019;100(4):247-253.

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. The relapse-free period was longer in the ≥40- than <40-year-old patients (1,197 vs. 441 days, respectively; p = 0.03). 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. In conclusion, LRT might be a therapeutic option for maintenance of remission in patients with UC, especially patients aged ≥40 years.

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