Background: Use of the immune checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab is sometimes complicated by ipilimumab-associated colitis (Ipi-AC), an immune-mediated colitis that mimics inflammatory bowel disease. Objective: We sought to characterize the histopathologic and immunophenotypic features of Ipi-AC and to directly compare these features to ulcerative colitis (UC). Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of 22 patients with Ipi-AC, 12 patients with treatment-naïve UC and five controls with diarrhoea but normal endoscopic findings. Immunohistopathologic features were described, and quantitative immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed for CD4, CD8, CD20, CD138 and FOXP3. Results: Endoscopic findings in both the Ipi-AC and UC groups included ulcerated, oedematous and erythematous mucosa. Involvement of the GI tract was more diffuse in Ipi-AC. As compared to UC, a smaller proportion of Ipi-AC biopsies had basal plasmacytosis (14% for Ipi-AC vs. 92% for UC, P < 0.0001) and crypt distortion (23% for Ipi-AC vs. 75% for UC, P = 0.003), whereas Ipi-AC biopsies had more apoptotic bodies in the left colon (17.6 ± 15.3 for Ipi-AC vs. 8.2 ± 4.2 for UC, P = 0.011). Cryptitis, ulcerations and crypt abscesses were common in both groups. Biopsy specimens from Ipi-AC had a lower density of CD20-positive lymphocytes than UC (275.8 ± 253.3 cells mm−2 for Ipi-AC vs. 1173.3 ± 1158.2 cells mm−2 for UC, P = 0.022) but had a similar density of CD4, CD8, CD138 and FOXP3-positive cells. Conclusions: Ipi-AC is a distinct pathologic entity with notable clinical and histopathological differences compared to UC. These findings provide insights into the pathophysiology of immune-related adverse events (iAEs) from ipilimumab therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Internal Medicine|
|State||Published - Jun 2018|
- inflammatory bowel disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine