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BackgroundIntravenous corticosteroids are the mainstay of therapy for acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC), but 30%-40% of patients fail to respond.AimTo investigate the effectiveness of exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN) as adjunctive therapy to intravenous corticosteroids in patients with ASUC.MethodsThis was an open-label randomised controlled trial, in which patients who were admitted with ASUC between August 2018 and May 2020 were randomised 1:1 to EEN or standard of care (SOC). Patients on EEN received a semi-elemental formula for 7 days along with SOC. The primary outcome was corticosteroid failure, defined by the need for salvage medical therapy or colectomy. Faecal microbial analysis was performed on day 1 and day 7 by 16s ribosomal RNA sequencing in some patients.ResultsOf 62 patients (mean age 35.3 ± 12.1 years, 40% male), 32 were randomised to EEN and 30 to SOC. Corticosteroid failure was lower on EEN compared to SOC (intention-to-treat analysis 25% vs 43%, P = 0.051; per protocol analysis 19% vs 43%, P = 0.04), without any difference in colectomy rate (9% vs 13%; P = 0.41). Patients on EEN had a shorter hospital stay [median (range) 10 (8-17) vs 13 (8-24) days; P = 0.04], higher day 7 albumin level (34 ± 4 vs 29 ± 3 g/L, P ConclusionsEEN for 7 days may augment corticosteroid responsiveness in patients with ASUC. (REF/2018/05/019844; CTRI/2020/06/025989).

Original publication




Journal article


Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics

Publication Date





568 - 576


Department of Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.


Feces, Humans, Colitis, Ulcerative, Leukocyte L1 Antigen Complex, Treatment Outcome, Enteral Nutrition, Adult, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Young Adult, Standard of Care