Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 283-287

Leukocyte apheresis in the management of ulcerative colitis


Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Helmy
Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre (KFSH&RC), MBC: 46, PO Box: 3354, Riyadh 11211
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.56093

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Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the colon and rectum. Its pathogenesis is probably multifactorial including the influx of certain cytokines into the colonic mucosa, causing disease activity and relapse. The hypothesis of removing such cytokines from the circulation by leukocytapheresis was implemented to reduce disease activity, maintain remission, and prevent relapse. Many recent reports not only in Japan, but also in the West, have highlighted its beneficial effects in both adult and pediatric patients. Large placebo-controlled studies are needed to confirm the available data in this regard. In this article, we shed some light on the use of leukocyte apheresis in the management of autoimmune diseases, especially ulcerative colitis.


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