Purpose of review
In this review article, we address emerging evidence for the medical and surgical treatment of the hospitalized patient with ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory disease involving the colon and rectum. About one-fifth of patients will be hospitalized from ulcerative colitis, and about 20–30%, experiencing an acute flare will undergo colectomy. Because of the significant clinical consequences, patients hospitalized need prompt evaluation for potential complications, stratification of disease severity, and a multidisciplinary team approach to therapy, which involves both the gastroenterologist and surgeon. Although corticosteroids remain first-line therapy, second-line medical rescue options, primarily infliximab or cyclosporine, are considered within 3–5 days of presentation. In conjunction, an early surgical consultation to present the possibility of a staged proctocolectomy as one of the therapeutic options is equally important.
A coordinated multidisciplinary, individualized approach to treatment, involving the patient preferences throughout the process, is optimal in providing patient-centered effective care.