Leukocyte Apheresis Using a Centrifugal Cell Separator in Refractory Ulcerative Colitis: A Multicenter Open Label Trial

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Recently, successful results of ulcerative colitis (UC) treatments with leukocyte apheresis have been reported by several institutes. To certify the efficacy of leukocyte apheresis in refractory UC patients, a multicenter open label trial was conducted, and results were analyzed. Fifty patients diagnosed with active steroid-resistant UC were enrolled in this study from 14 medical centers. Using a centrifugal cell separator (Component Collection System, Haemonetics), leukocyte apheresis was performed once a week for 5 weeks. General conditions and abdominal symptoms were recorded daily, and laboratory tests were followed weekly. Changes of colonoscopic and histological manifestations of luminal activity through the study period were evaluated. At the end of the study period, stool frequency was decreased to less than 4 times a day in 68.4% (26 of 38) and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration was normalized in 56.7% (17 of 30) of the patients. Colonoscopic remission was achieved in 57.7% (26 of 45), and histological improvement was noted in 54.1% (20 of 37) of the patients tested. Improved disease activity was demonstrated in 74% (37 of 50) of the patients by general assessment criteria. Analysis of the trial data confirmed the valid clinical efficacy of leukocyte apheresis by centrifugal cell separator in refractory UC patients.

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