BACKGROUND: The purpose of the study was to collect data on granulocyte-monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) for the treatment of corticosteroid-dependent (SD) or corticosteroid-resistant (SR) inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in children from 3 Nordic countries to evaluate its efficacy and safety and to assess practical issues. METHODS: Retrospective data on 37 children treated with GMA were collected. In all, 22 children had ulcerative colitis (UC), 13 Crohn's disease (CD), and 2 had indeterminate colitis (IC). Their mean age was 13.2 years, range 5-17 years, and mean duration of disease was 2.4 years, range 1 month to 6 years. Indication for treatment in the UC group was SD in 11 cases, SR in 6 cases, and other reasons in 5 cases. The corresponding numbers in the CD group were SD in 8 cases, SR in 2 cases, and other reasons in 3 cases. In the IC group, 1 had SD and 1 was refractory to steroids, azathioprine, and infliximab. Efficacy was evaluated by severity indices: the Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index (PUCAI) and the Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index (PCDAI) and tapering of corticosteroids. RESULTS: PUCAI and PCDAI decreased significantly in both groups after 3 months (P = 0.0007, P = 0.025). The dosage of corticosteroid was significantly reduced in the UC group by the end of GMA (P = 0.004) and this response continued after 3 months. Relapse was seen in 2 patients with UC and 3 patients with CD after 3 months follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: GMA seems to be an effective and safe treatment in 81% of the SD or SR pediatric IBD patients, especially in those with UC.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, 2009, Vol 15, Issue 7, p. 1049-54