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PURPOSE: Cyclosporin is used in severe ulcerative colitis that is refractory to intravenous steroids. Cyclosporin is a potent immunosuppressant and can cause side effects such as opportunistic infections. This study aimed to investigate the incidence of perioperative complications in patients treated with intravenous cyclosporin and steroids compared with patients treated with intravenous steroids alone. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the case notes of 44 patients with severe ulcerative colitis who underwent total abdominal colectomy and ileostomy. Twenty-five patients were treated with intravenous steroids and 19 patients were treated with intravenous cyclosporin and steroids. Details were recorded with respect to age, length of illness, extent of disease, Truelove and Witt's criteria, hemoglobin and albumin at surgery, surgical procedure, and perioperative morbidity. RESULTS: Twenty-four percent of patients treated with intravenous steroids alone and 15.8 percent of patients treated with intravenous cyclosporin and steroids had major surgical complications. Sixteen percent of patients treated with intravenous steroids alone and 5.2 percent of patients treated with intravenous cyclosporin and steroids had minor surgical complications. Eight percent of patients treated with intravenous steroids alone and 10.5 percent of patients treated with intravenous cyclosporin and steroids had major medical complications. There was no mortality in either group. CONCLUSIONS: There is no increased incidence of perioperative complications associated with the use of intravenous cyclosporin in addition to steroids in acute severe ulcerative colitis provided cyclosporin treatment is for a defined period and surgery is not delayed.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Dis Colon Rectum

Publication Date

10/2001

Volume

44

Pages

1436 - 1440

Keywords

Acute Disease, Adult, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Colectomy, Colitis, Ulcerative, Cyclosporine, Female, Humans, Ileostomy, Immunosuppressive Agents, Infusions, Intravenous, Intraoperative Complications, Male, Middle Aged, Postoperative Complications, Retrospective Studies, Steroids