Background. Recently, granulocyte and monocyte adsorption apheresis (GMA) has been shown to be effective for active ulcerative colitis (UC). Its original weekly treatment schedule is effective in about 70% of active UC. However, it takes about 3-4 weeks to achieve remission, and the efficacy of a more frequent treatment schedule has not been elucidated yet. We performed a pilot open-labeled prospective, randomized, controlled study comparing weekly and an intensive treatment schedule with three treatment sessions per week in the first 2 weeks. Methods. Thirty active UC patients with moderate disease activity were prospectively and randomly assigned to receive the original or the intensive treatment schedule for a total of ten sessions. The proportion of the patients achieving remission and the time to achieve remission among them was compared between the two groups. The incidences of adverse effects were also compared between the two groups. Results. The rate of inducing remission in the original and intensive treatment group was 66.7% and 80%, respectively (P = 0.25, NS). The time to achieve remission was 27.2 days in the original group and 10.7 days in the intensive group (P = 0.04). Adverse effects were observed in two patients in each groups (NS). Conclusions. Intensive treatment with GMAis an efficacious and safe treatment for active UC. Because it induces rapid remission, it may be a more ideal treatment regimen than the conventional weekly treatment.
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