Background: Budesonide foam is used for the topical treatment of distal ulcerative colitis. This phase III study was performed to confirm mucosal healing and other therapeutic effects of twice-daily budesonide 2-mg foam in patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis including left-sided colitis and pancolitis. Methods: This was a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. A total of 126 patients with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis with active inflammation in the distal colon were randomized to two groups receiving twice-daily budesonide 2 mg/25 ml foam or placebo foam. The primary endpoint was the percentage of complete mucosal healing of distal lesions (endoscopic subscore of 0) at week 6. Some patients continued the treatment through week 12. Drug efficacy and safety were evaluated. Results: The percentages of both complete mucosal healing of distal lesions and clinical remission were significantly improved in the budesonide as compared with the placebo group (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0035). Subgroup analysis showed similar efficacy of budesonide foam for complete mucosal healing of distal lesions and clinical remission regardless of disease type. The clinical remission percentage tended to be higher in patients achieving complete mucosal healing of distal lesions than in other patients. There were no safety concerns with budesonide foam. Conclusions: This study confirmed for the first time complete mucosal healing with twice-daily budesonide 2-mg foam in mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis with distal active inflammation. The results also indicated that complete mucosal healing of distal lesions by budesonide foam promotes clinical remission of ulcerative colitis. Clinical trial registration no.: Japic CTI-142704.
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