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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2008 September;54(3):239-42

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Use of corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and Infliximab at a third-level Day-Hospital Service of Gastro-Hepatology

Actis G. C., Pellicano R., Bugianesi E., Lagget M., Rizzetto M.

Department of Gastro-Hepatology, Molinette Hospital, Turin, Italy


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Aim. Third-level Day-Hospital Services of Gastro-Hepatology are likely to recruit patients with an increased disease severity. The burden of request for immunomodulation drugs is presently unclear.
Methods. The charts of 1 012 consecutive patients who underwent day-hospital admission were reviewed. Among them, 975 were admitted for several reasons (percutaneous liver biopsies, abdominal fluid aspirations, infiltrations of hepatic nodules, gastrointestinal endoscopies with specific treatments). Data of the remaining 37 patients were elaborated.
Results. Of them, 31 (83%) suffered from ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD) (17 and 14, respectively) and 6 from autoimmune type 1 hepatitis (AIH). Of the 14 non-operated UC patients, 12 were taking azathioprine (AZA) and 2 infliximab (IFX). Among CD patients, the majority received AZA (N=6) or IFX (N=6). Of the AIH patients, 5 were treated with AZA and 2 had also cyclosporine. Overall, corticosteroids (32%) and IFX (21%) ranked first and second among the induction drugs, and AZA ranked first (62%) as maintenance option. Of the 4 CD patients under IFX treatment, 2 were switched to leukapheresis for incomplete response, the third one developed thrombotic complications, and the last one achieved disease remission after 12 months. Of the 2 cases of UC, one lost response soon and was colectomized, the other is maintaining moderately active disease, requiring scheduled injections every 8 weeks.
Conclusion. Despite the caution imposed by the very small numbers, this analysis confirms that the potent available options are difficult to be correctly positioned in the therapeutic algorithm of inflammatory bowel disease.

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