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Ulcerative Colitis: Early Sigmoidoscopy & Clinical Outcomes (Discoveries & Impact August 2023)

August 10, 2023
by Melanie Ho

Flexible sigmoidoscopy, a medical procedure that examines the distal part of the large intestine (colon) and rectum, is recommended for patients with acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC). A new study by Yale researchers investigated whether early sigmoidoscopy affected clinical outcomes in a well-characterized cohort of hospitalized patients presenting with ASUC.

The retrospective study included 112 patients hospitalized with this severe medical condition between January 2012 and November 2021. Of these patients, three-fourths underwent a sigmoidoscopy within 72 hours of admission (early), and remaining patients underwent a sigmoidoscopy more than 72 hours after admission (delayed).

Early sigmoidoscopy was associated with favorable outcomes when compared to delayed sigmoidoscopy. Specifically, early sigmoidoscopy was associated with fewer days of intravenous corticosteroid use, shorter hospital stays, and quicker time to rescue therapy with infliximab. Delayed sigmoidoscopy was associated with increased rates of colectomy.

The study suggests that by prioritizing early sigmoidoscopy, clinicians may be able to optimize clinical outcomes in this group of patients with ASUC. Read their results in “Early Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Improves Clinical Outcomes in Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis.”

Sharma S, Li DK, Levine LJ, Chaar A, McMillan C, Gaidos JKJ, Proctor DD, Al-Bawardy B. Early Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Improves Clinical Outcomes in Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis. Crohns Colitis 360. 2023 May 31;5(3):otad032. doi: 10.1093/crocol/otad032. PMID: 37323477; PMCID: PMC10263117.

Submitted by Julie Parry on August 10, 2023