top of page

Impact of Changing Treatment Strategies on Outcomes in Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis



In recent years, treatment strategies for ulcerative colitis have evolved with an early step-up approach, the availability of biologicals, and therapeutic drug monitoring.We carried out this study to evaluate the effect of these changes on disease outcomes.


In this retrospective review, 2 time periods were defined: Group 1 (2005-2010) and Group 2 (2011-2016). Baseline demographic, endoscopic parameters, and medication use were compared. Overall colectomy rate, number of disease flares per year, and number of hospital admissions per year were compared between the 2 groups.


Group 1 had 71 children, and in children in Group 2. The use of 5-ASA increased in Group 2 (Group 2, 99.2% vs. Group 1, 84.5%, P = 0.0007). In addition, infliximab and thiopurines were introduced earlier in the disease course.The 2-year cumulative probability of colectomy decreased from 14% to 3% (P = 0.02) between the 2 periods. No change in median number of flares per year [Group 1, 0.41 (IQR 0.6) vs. Group 2, 0.62 (IQR 0.91), P = 0.28] or median number of hospital admissions per year [Group 1, 0.30 (IQR 0.77) vs. Group 2, 0.21 (IQR 0.75), P = 0.52] was seen.Thereafter, we proceeded to identify the changes in treatment strategies that were responsible for the reduction in colectomy and we found that the use of infliximab OR 3.7 (95% CI 1.1-11.7), P = 0.02, was independently associated with it.


A reduction in 2-year colectomy rates has been observed in patients with pediatric ulcerative colitis since biologics have become available for its treatment. The numbers of disease-flares rates and hospital admissions remain unchanged.


Bolia R1, Rajanayagam J1, Hardikar W1, Alex G1. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2019 Apr 19. pii: izz072. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz072. [Epub ahead of print]

Author Information

1.  Department of Gastroenterology & Clinical Nutrition, The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne, Australia.

bottom of page