Scientific corner

Adsorptive cytapheresis in ulcerative colitis: A non-pharmacological therapeutic approach revisited

Filippo Vernia 1Angelo Viscido 1Giovanni Latella 1J Clin Apher. 2023 Dec;38(6):746-754

Adsorptive cytapheresis proves effective in a proportion of patients affected by ulcerative colitis. Relatively high cost and the need for apheresis facilities, prevented the widespread use of this therapeutic approach. More so following the introduction of anti-TNFα biosimilars which proved both effective and inexpensive. Anti-TNFα agents, however, are burdened by high rate of primary and secondary non-response and prompt switching to new, high-cost biologics, and small molecules. The present review analyzes advantages and disadvantages of adsorptive cytapheresis in the present clinical scenario and suggests its repositioning in the therapeutic workup of selected subgroups of ulcerative colitis patients. The extremely favorable safety profile makes adsorptive cytapheresis a viable therapeutic option in elderly and high-risk UC patients, as well as potential second-line treatment in corticosteroid-dependent patients and poor responders to first-line biologics.

Adsorptive cytapheresis in ulcerative colitis: A non-pharmacological therapeutic approach revisited – PubMed (

Adsorptive cytapheresis in ulcerative colitis: A non‐pharmacological therapeutic approach revisited – Vernia – 2023 – Journal of Clinical Apheresis – Wiley Online Library

Scientific corner

Leukocytapheresis with leukocyte removal filter for severe ulcerative colitis in childhood

Yukihiko Kawasaki 1Junzo SuzukiShigeo SuzukiHitoshi Suzuki

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 Oct;39(4):422-5. doi: 10.1097/00005176-200410000-00021.

Generally, UC is associated with intervals of acute exacerbation and the administration of corticosteroids is effective in bringing about a clinical remission (1). Corticosteroids are not always effective even in doses over 1 mg/kg/day. In addition, the long-term use of corticosteroids often causes serious side effects such as growth retardation, glaucoma, hormonal disturbance, peptic ulcer, liver dysfunction and psychologic problems. Alternative treatment for active UC may be necessary to avoid the clinical problems associated with corticosteroid therapy. In recent years, leukocytapheresis (LCAP) and granulocytapheresis (GCAP) using a leukocyte removal filter has been found effective in some cases of adults with inflammatory bowel disease (2,3). However, there have been few reports concerning the efficacy of LCAP and GCAP for UC in childhood (4).We report two children with severe steroid-dependent UC in whom LCAP with leukocyte removal filter was used in treatment. LCAP therapy was safe and effective in two children with refractory UC and allowed discontinuation of corticosteroid therapy with an improvement in quality of life. Prospective studies of this therapy will be needed to clarify the role of LCAP in treatment of childhood UC.

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