Scientific corner

Therapeutic efficacy of leukocytapheresis in a pregnant woman with severe active ulcerative colitis

H Okada 1C MakidonoR TakenakaS HiraokaA FujiwaraJ KatoY KawaharaH KawamotoM MizunoY Shiratori

Digestion 2006;74(1):15-8. doi: 10.1159/000095478. Epub 2006 Aug 29.

Leukocytapheresis has recently been used to induce remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) who fail to respond to corticosteroids. We could not find a report in the literature on leukocytapheresis for UC with gestational exacerbation. We have recently encountered this unique condition and report the details here. A 30-year-old Japanese woman with left-sided severe UC was corticosteroid-dependent and had recurrence of the active disease during tapering of corticosteroid. She declined any dose increase and the use of any immunosuppressive agent because she was in the 13th week of pregnancy. Then, concomitant leukocytapheresis was performed without increasing the corticosteroid dose. Recovery was rapid and dramatic. Mucous and bloody stool decreased after the first session, and she had remission 2 weeks later. She underwent a total of four sessions without complications. After 6 weeks, she was discharged from our hospital and underwent maintenance treatment as an outpatient with mesalazine and corticosteroid tapering. Subsequently, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl by an uncomplicated vaginal delivery while keeping the remitted stage of UC.

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