BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Thiopurines are an established treatment for pediatric ulcerative colitis (UC). However, data regarding safety and efficacy are lacking. We aimed to determine short and long-term outcome following thiopurines use in children with UC. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of children (2-18 years) with UC treated with thiopurines between January 2008 and January 2019 at 7 medical centers in Israel. The primary outcome was corticosteroid (CS)-free clinical remission at week 52 following thiopurines initiation without the need for rescue therapy (infliximab, calcineurin inhibitors, or colectomy). RESULTS: A total of 133 children were included [median age at diagnosis of 12.4 (interquartile range 11.0-15.8) years, 30 (23%) left-sided colitis, 113 (85%) with moderate or severe disease at diagnosis]. At diagnosis 58 patients (44%) were treated with 5-aminosalicylates and 72 (54%) with CS. Sixty patients (45%) received thiopurines as 1st line maintenance therapy. Seventy-four patients (56%) had CS-free clinical remission at week 52 without rescue therapy. Predictors of clinical remission were not identified. In a sub-analysis among patients with steroid-responsive moderate to severe UC, 59 (55%) patients achieved this outcome. The likelihood of remaining free of rescue therapy among thiopurines-treated patients was 83%, 62%, 45%, and 37% at 1, 2, 3, and 4 years, respectively. CONCLUSION: More than half of children with UC starting thiopurines without previous or concomitant biologic therapy have CS-free clinical remission at 52 weeks later without the need for rescue therapy. Thiopurines are effective in pediatric UC and could be considered prior to biologics.
|Original language||American English|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition|
|State||Published - 1 Oct 2023|
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 by European Society for European Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition and North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.