Scientific corner

Granulocyte-monocyte/macrophage apheresis for steroid-nonresponsive or steroid-intolerant severe alcohol-associated hepatitis: A pilot study

Ryosuke Kasuga 1, Po-Sung Chu 1, Nobuhito Taniki 1, Aya Yoshida 1, Rei Morikawa 1, Takaya Tabuchi 1, Fumie Noguchi 1, Karin Yamataka 1, Yukie Nakadai 1, Mayuko Kondo 1, Hirotoshi Ebinuma 1 2, Takanori Kanai 1, Nobuhiro Nakamoto 1

Background: Patients with severe alcohol-associated hepatitis (SAH) have a high short-term mortality rate. Unmet needs exist in patients who are refractory to corticosteroids (CS) or are ineligible for early liver transplantation.

Methods: This was a prospective, open-label, nonrandomized pilot study conducted at a liver transplant center in Tokyo, Japan, starting in October 2015. Lille model and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score-defined CS nonresponsive or CS-intolerant patients with SAH who fulfilled the inclusion criteria (leukocytosis over 10,000/μL, etc.) were considered for enrollment. The median duration from admission to enrollment was 23 days (IQR, 14-31 days), after standard of care. Granulocyte-monocyte/macrophage apheresis (GMA) performed with Adacolumn twice per week, up to 10 times per treatment course, was evaluated.

Results: 13 GMA treatments were conducted through December 2021. Maddrey Discriminant Function was 53.217.7 at admission. The overall survival rate was 90.9% at 90 and 180 days. MELD scores significantly improved, from median (IQRs) of 23 (20-25) to 15 (13-21) after GMA (p<0.0001). Estimated mortality risks using the Lille model and MELD scores significantly improved from 20.9%±16.5% to 7.4%±7.3% at 2 months and from 30.4%±21.3% to 11.6%±10.8% at 6 months, respectively (both p<0.01), and were internally validated. The cumulative rate of alcohol relapse was 35.9% per year. No severe adverse events were observed. In exploratory analysis, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor levels were significantly correlated with prognostic systems such as MELD-Sodium scores after GMA (correlation coefficient= -0.9943, p<0.0001) but not before GMA (p=0.62). Conclusions: Compared to published studies, GMA is associated with a lower-than-expected 90- and 180-day mortality in patients with CS-nonresponsive or CS-intolerant SAH. GMA may meet the needs as a salvage anti-inflammatory therapy for SAH. (Trial registration: UMIN000019351 and jRCTs No.032180221) (274 words).

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Pyoderma gangrenosum in ulcerative colitis patient treated with vedolizumab: adsorptive granulocyte/monocyte apheresis as a new therapeutic option refractory cases – a case report and literature review

Mauro Mastronardi, Elisabetta Cavalcanti, Nunzia Labarile, Raffaele Armentano, Francesco Gabriele, Margherita Curlo, Therapeutic Advances in Chronic Disease. 2023;14. doi:10.1177/20406223231194190

Extraintestinal manifestations occur rather frequently in ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease patients and are usually related to an exacerbation of the underlying intestinal bowel disease but sometimes may run a course independent of the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). About one-third of patients with IBD develop extraintestinal manifestations, such as pyoderma gangrenosum (PG). PG is an uncommon inflammatory skin disorder of unknown pathogenesis. There are no specific serological or histological markers, and diagnosis is predominantly clinical. Topical and systemic therapies are both vital aspects of treatment and immune modulators have been used with increasing success in recent years, although immunosuppressive drugs raise some concerns due to an increased risk of serious and opportunistic infections and cancer, particularly in elderly and comorbid patients, underlining the unmet need for safer alternative therapies. Thus, in this case report, we highlighted an adsorptive granulocyte/monocyte apheresis (GMA) as a new therapeutic possibility in IBD patients with extraintestinal manifestations. We report a case of a 60-year woman with a history of UC with a Mayo grade 3 score which was associated with a PG. Given that the patients maintained clinical remission with vedolizumab, we preferred not to perform a combined treatment with other antitumor necrosis factor-alpha or ciclosporin, thus avoiding an increased risk of serious infections in the patient. Therefore, we performed the extracorporeal leukocyte apheresis. The patient progressed favorably, with progressive improvement of skin and bowel disease. Therefore, adsorptive GMA has a very favorable safety profile and has been confirmed in numerous studies. In this study, we underlined that an intensive regimen of GMA paves the way to an ideal option for patients with severe and refractory PG complicated with UC.

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A case of severe generalized pustular psoriasis successfully treated with IL-17A monoclonal antibody and granulocyte removal therapy

Keiki ShimadaDaisuke KatagiriAika KatoNaoto NunoseMotohiko SatoYuri KatayamaKanako TerakawaTakahito NiikuraEmi SakamotoYuki YoshizakiMinami SuzukiTakashi FukayaTakeshi Tamaki & Hideki Takano Ren Replace Ther 8, 50 (2022).

Background Generalized pustular psoriasis (GPP) usually presents with fever, generalized flushing, and multiple sterile pustules on the skin, which histopathologically form subcorneal pustules characterized by Kogoj spongiform pustules. Granulocyte/monocyte adsorption apheresis (GMA) was approved in Japan in 2012. The use of biologics for psoriasis treatment is increasing. Several case reports have evaluated the combination of GMA and cyclosporine (CyA) for GPP. However, very few English reports on combining biologics and GMA in treating GPP exist. Case presentation A 79-year-old man with a history of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, and atrial fibrillation was admitted. He had been consulting a dermatologist for psoriasis vulgaris (PV) since the age of 44. The patient was diagnosed with severe GPP and treated with 300 mg secukinumab (SEC) on day 3. SEC is a fully human monoclonal IgG1 antibody that targets IL-17A. Five doses were administered. In addition, GMA was administered once a week, three times from day 4. After the first administration of GMA, the inflammatory response and skin condition improved markedly. The patient was discharged from the hospital on day 34. Conclusions The present study is the first English-written report on the combined administration of SEC and GMA both instituted since admission for severe GPP, with immediate patient response to treatment. Notably, IL-17A plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of GPP. GMA can eliminate activated leukocytes, and the early introduction of combined IL-17 monoclonal antibody and GMA may allow disease suppression in patients with severe GPP, thus avoiding progression to multiorgan failure. Further studies may verify the effects of IL-17 monoclonal antibodies and GMA on severe GPP.

Scientific corner

Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for inflammatory bowel disease

Katsuyoshi Matsuoka 1Taku Kobayashi 1Fumiaki Ueno 2 3Toshiyuki Matsui 1Fumihito Hirai 1Nagamu Inoue 1Jun Kato 1Kenji Kobayashi 1Kiyonori Kobayashi 1Kazutaka Koganei 1Reiko Kunisaki 1Satoshi Motoya 1Masakazu Nagahori 1Hiroshi Nakase 1Fumio Omata 1Masayuki Saruta 1Toshiaki Watanabe 1Toshiaki Tanaka 1Takanori Kanai 1Yoshinori Noguchi 1Ken-Ichi Takahashi 1Kenji Watanabe 1Toshifumi Hibi 1Yasuo Suzuki 1Mamoru Watanabe 1Kentaro Sugano 1Tooru Shimosegawa 1 , J Gastroenterol. 2018 Mar;53(3):305-353.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic disorder involving mainly the intestinal tract, but possibly other gastrointestinal and extraintestinal organs. Although etiology is still uncertain, recent knowledge in pathogenesis has accumulated, and novel diagnostic and therapeutic modalities have become available for clinical use. Therefore, the previous guidelines were urged to be updated. In 2016, the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology revised the previous versions of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) in Japanese. A total of 59 clinical questions for 9 categories (1. clinical features of IBD; 2. diagnosis; 3. general consideration in treatment; 4. therapeutic interventions for IBD; 5. treatment of UC; 6. treatment of CD; 7. extraintestinal complications; 8. cancer surveillance; 9. IBD in special situation) were selected, and a literature search was performed for the clinical questions with use of the MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Igaku Chuo Zasshi databases. The guidelines were developed with the basic concept of the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Recommendations were made using Delphi rounds. This English version was produced and edited based on the existing updated guidelines in Japanese.

Evidence-based clinical practice guidelines for inflammatory bowel disease – PMC (

Scientific corner

The efficacy of intensive granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis in a patient with Crohn’s disease complicated by extensive subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses.

Shingo Kato 1Eriko HosomiFumi AmanoTaisuke KobayashiKazuhito KaniRyuichi YamamotoTomonari OgawaAkihiko MatsudaYoshiki SatoSeiichi IzakiTetsuya MitaraiKoji Yakabi, J Crohns Colitis. 2012 Aug;6(7):787-91.

Background and aims: Subcutaneous aseptic abscess is one phenotype of neutrophilic dermatitis. We were interested to see if a case of steroid refractory Crohn’s disease (CD) complicated by subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses responds to intensive granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA). Methods: The patient was a 21-year-old male with worsening severe CD while on oral prednisolone (30 mg/day). His symptoms included fever, bloody diarrhoea and multiple painful subcutaneous nodules throughout his body. Skin biopsy showed chronic panniculitis with neutrophilic infiltrates. Further, colonoscopy showed oedematous sigmoid colon, while colonic biopsy showed non-caseous granuloma. Because biologics were feared to increase the risk of bacteraemia as the result of germ culture on his pus was not known at the time, we decided to treat this case with GMA. Five GMA sessions with the Adacolumn over 5 consecutive days (daily GMA) were initiated. Results: On admission, his CD activity index (CDAI) was 355, C-reactive protein (CRP) 11.2 mg/dL. After 5 GMA sessions, CDAI decreased to 170, and CRP fell to 5.0 mg/dL, with no fever. GMA was restarted at 2 sessions/week (total 10 sessions). The patient’s CDAI fell to <150, and the skin lesions re-epithelialized. Conclusions: In this CD case complicated by subcutaneous aseptic neutrophilic abscesses, GMA appeared to be effective. Our impression is that when biopsy reveals neutrophil infiltrate is a major feature of the lesions, GMA should be considered. As GMA appears to have no safety concerns, a frequent GMA protocol, like daily followed by 2 to 3 times/week should be preferred over the routine weekly GMA.

Scientific corner

The Asia-Pacific consensus on ulcerative colitis

Choon Jin Ooi 1Kwong Ming FockGovind K MakhariaKhean Lee GohKhoon Lin LingIda HilmiWee Chian LimThia KelvinPeter R GibsonRichard B GearryQin OuyangJose SollanoSathaporn ManatsathitRungsun RerknimitrShu-Chen WeiWai Keung LeungH Janaka de SilvaRupert Wl LeongAsia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology Working Group on Inflammatory Bowel Disease

J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2010 Mar;25(3):453-68. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2010.06241.x.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing in many parts of the Asia-Pacific region. There is a need to improve the awareness of IBD and develop diagnostic and management recommendations relevant to the region. This evidence-based consensus focuses on the definition, epidemiology and management of ulcerative colitis (UC) in Asia. A multi-disciplinary group developed the consensus statements, reviewed the relevant literature, and voted on them anonymously using the Delphi method. The finalized statements were reviewed to determine the level of consensus, evidence quality and strength of recommendation. Infectious colitis must be excluded prior to diagnosing UC. Typical histology and macroscopic extent of the disease seen in the West is found in the Asia-Pacific region. Ulcerative colitis is increasing in many parts of Asia with gender distribution and age of diagnosis similar to the West. Extra-intestinal manifestations including primary sclerosing cholangitis are rarer than in the West. Clinical stratification of disease severity guides management. In Japan, leukocytapheresis is a treatment option. Access to biologic agents remains limited due to high cost and concern over opportunistic infections. The high endemic rates of hepatitis B virus infection require stringent screening before initiating immune-suppressive agents. Vaccination and prophylactic therapies should be initiated on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with local practice. Colorectal cancer complicates chronic colitis. A recent increase in UC is reported in the Asia-Pacific region. These consensus statements aim to improve the recognition of UC and assist clinicians in its management with particular relevance to the region.

Scientific corner

Leukocytapheresis in a girl with severe ulcerative colitis refractory to corticosteroids, infliximab, and cyclosporine A

Katalin DittrichMarkus RichterWolfgang RascherHenrik Köhler Inflamm Bowel Dis 2008 Oct;14(10):1466-7. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20464.

Although medical therapy remains the first-line treatment for UC, colectomy may be required for patients with severe medically refractory disease. Leukocytapheresis (LCAP) has been reported as a new line of therapy in
patients with UC. Only 2 pediatric case series, not including patients on immunosuppressive therapy or biologicals, treated with granulocytapheresis have been reported. The patient reported by us is the youngest to the best of our knowledge in which this LCAP technique was used . She had severe colitis refractory to corticosteroids, infliximab and yclosporine A. We were able to avoid colectomy and the procedure was well tolerated.

Scientific corner

Predictors of a response to cyclosporine or leukocyte removal therapy in patients with refractory ulcerative colitis


Introduction: Despite decades of clinical experience in optimizing the induction and maintenance of remission in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), some patients remain refractory to conventional medical treatment while, in others, the effectiveness of drugs is limited by side-effects. We investigated factors predictive of the efficacy of cyclosporine and leukocyte removal therapy in patients with intractable UC. Methods: Forty-five patients with moderate to severe UC who were refractory to corticosteroid therapy were enrolled. Twenty-six patients were treated with cyclosporine and 19 by leukocyte removal therapy. Disease activity index (DAI) score assessment, and colonoscopic and histological examinations were done before and at 10, 20 and 40 days after the initiation of treatment. A clinical response to treatment was defined as a decrease in DAI score of 3 points or more at 40 days. Results: Responder ratio did not significantly differ between the cyclosporine (65.6%) and leukocyte removal therapy (63.2%) groups. Factors predictive of a response to cyclosporine therapy were fever (≥ 38.0∞C), anemia and large mucosal ulceration. In contrast, mucosal bleeding and poor extensibility of the intestinal lumen were predictive of a poor response to cyclosporine. No significant differences in any clinical or endoscopic parameter predictive of a response to leukocyte removal therapy were identified. Conclusions: Intravenous cyclosporine may be effective in patients who have severe steroid-refractory UC, and leukocyte removal therapy may be useful in patients with moderate active UC predicted to be refractive to cyclosporine.

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