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Feasibility of Endoscopic Assessment and Treating to Target to Achieve Mucosal Healing in Ulcerative Colitis

Bouguen, Guillaume MD*,†; Levesque, Barrett G. MD, MS*; Pola, Suresh MD*; Evans, Elisabeth NP*; Sandborn, William J. MD*

doi: 10.1097/01.MIB.0000437985.00190.aa
Original Clinical Articles

Background: Mucosal healing (MH) as a treatment target for ulcerative colitis is of growing interest because it is associated with improved clinical outcomes. However, the feasibility and probability of reaching MH in clinical practice is unknown. We therefore evaluated the feasibility of “treating to target” according to endoscopic findings to reach MH.

Methods: All endoscopic outcomes of patients with ulcerative colitis followed in a single inflammatory bowel disease unit from 2011 to 2012 were reviewed and subsequent therapeutic management. Cumulative incidence of MH and histologic healing (HH) were estimated using a Kaplan–Meier method.

Results: A total of 60 patients underwent at least 2 consecutive endoscopic assessments, of whom 45 and 48 patients had endoscopic and histologic evidence of active disease, respectively. After a median follow-up of 76 weeks, 27 of 45 (60%) patients with endoscopic disease activity at baseline achieved MH and 24 (50%) of 48 patients with histologic disease activity at baseline had HH. The cumulative probabilities of MH were 26%, 52%, and 70% at 26, 52, and 76 weeks, respectively. The cumulative probabilities of HH at weeks 26, 52, and 76 from the time of initial procedure were 19%, 41%, and 57%, respectively. Any adjustment in medical therapy in case of persistent endoscopic activity was associated with both MH and HH.

Conclusions: Repeated assessment of endoscopic disease activity with adjustment of medical therapy to the target of MH is feasible in clinical practice in patients with ulcerative colitis, and seems to be of benefit.

Article first published online 18 December 2013Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

*Division of Gastroenterology, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California; and

Department of Hepato-Gastroenterology, University Hospital of Rennes, Pontchaillou, Inserm U991 University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France.

Reprints: William J. Sandborn, MD, Division of Gastroenterology, University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, San Diego, CA 92093-0956 (e-mail:

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

G. Bouguen has received lecture fees from Abbott Laboratories, Ferring, and MSD Pharma. B. G. Levesque, consultant: Santarus, Inc., Prometheus Laboratories, speakers bureau: Warner Chilcott, UCB Pharma, Salix; S. Pola and E. Evans have no conflicts of interest to disclose. W. J. Sandborn reports having received consulting fees from ActoGeniX NV, AGI Therapeutics, Inc., Alba Therapeutics Corporation, Albireo, Alfa Wasserman, Amgen, AM-Pharma BV, Anaphore, Astellas Pharma, Athersys, Inc., Atlantic Healthcare Limited, Axcan Pharma (now Aptalis), BioBalance Corporation, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Inc, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Celgene, Celek Pharmaceuticals, Cellerix SL, Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, ChemoCentryx, CoMentis, Cosmo Technologies, Coronado Biosciences, Cytokine Pharmasciences, Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Eisai Medical Research, Inc., Elan Pharmaceuticals, EnGene, Inc., Eli Lilly, Enteromedics, Exagen Diagnostics, Inc., Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Flexion Therapeutics, Inc., Funxional Therapeutics Limited, Genzyme Corporation, Genentech (now Roche), Gilead Sciences, Given Imaging, Glaxo Smith Kline, Human Genome Sciences, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (previously Microbia, Inc.), Janssen (previously Centocor), KaloBios Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lexicon Pharmaceuticals, Lycera Corporation, Meda Pharmaceuticals (previously Alaven Pharmaceuticals), Merck Research Laboratories, MerckSerono, Millennium Pharmaceuticals (subsequently merged with Takeda), Nisshin Kyorin Pharmaceuticals, Co., Ltd., Novo Nordisk A/S, NPS Pharmaceuticals, Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc., PDL Biopharma, Pfizer, Procter and Gamble, Prometheus Laboratories, ProtAb Limited, Purgenesis Technologies, Inc., Receptos, Relypsa, Inc., Salient Pharmaceuticals, Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Santarus, Schering Plough Corporation (acquired by Merck), Shire Pharmaceuticals, Sigmoid Pharma Limited, Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (a GSK company), S.L.A. Pharma (UK) Limited, Targacept, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Therakos, Tillotts Pharma AG (acquired by Zeria Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd), TxCell SA, UCB Pharma, Viamet Pharmaceuticals, Vascular Biogenics Limited (VBL), Warner Chilcott UK Limited, Wyeth (now Pfizer); has received lecture fees from Bristol Meyers Squibb and Janssen (previously Centocor); and has received research support from Bristol Meyers Squibb, Genentech, Glaxo Smith Kline, Janssen (previously Centocor), Millennium Pharmaceuticals (now Takeda), Novartis, Pfizer, Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Shire Pharmaceuticals, and UCB Pharma.

Received October 04, 2013

Accepted October 29, 2013

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.
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