Background Rapid resolution of symptoms and endoscopic inflammation in ulcerative colitis (UC) represent important treatment goals. Aims To establish times to bleeding cessation and endoscopic healing for topical and oral mesalazine in active distal UC, a post hoc analysis of two published studies was performed. Methods Study I (Sutherland 1987) compared mesalazine rectal suspension to placebo, while Study II (Safdi 1997) compared topical suspensions, either alone or in combination with oral mesalazine, and oral alone. Cessation of rectal bleeding (RB) was defined as absence of bleeding on four consecutive days. Endoscopic remission was defined as DAI mucosal healing (MH) subscore = 0 and clinical remission as MH subscore = 0-1 and ≥ 1-point improvement, plus RB subscore = 0. Results Study I: By Day 2, 31.4% of subjects using topical monotherapy reported no RB vs. 5.5% in the placebo arm (P < 0.0006); median time to RB cessation was 8 days. Significantly higher rates of endoscopic (25.0% vs. 7.8%, P < 0.005) and clinical remission (48.6% vs. 9.6%, P < 0.0001) were observed at Week 3. Study II: A significantly higher proportion of subjects achieved RB cessation with combination therapy vs. oral therapy, commencing by Day 8. By Week 3, a significantly higher proportion of subjects using combination therapy achieved clinical remission compared to oral therapy alone (57.9% vs. 18.2%, P < 0.05). Conclusions Topical mesalazine suspension, either alone or in combination with oral mesalazine, led to earlier rectal bleeding cessation and mucosal healing. These data support use of topical therapy for more rapid treatment benefit in active distal ulcerative colitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)