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The Management of the Hospitalized Ulcerative Colitis Patient: the Medical–Surgical Conundrum

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Abstract

Purpose of Review

In this study, we present the evidence-based management for patients hospitalized for ulcerative colitis (UC) with a special focus on the synergic approach of the two key actors of the inflammatory bowel disease multidisciplinary team (IBD-MDT): gastroenterologist and surgeon.

Recent Findings

Focused treatment by a specialized IBD-MDT and early involvement of the colorectal surgeon in the management of hospitalized UC patients is advocated. The colectomy rate has not changed over the years. Moreover, delayed surgery after admission is burden by increase complication and mortality rates. Thus, it is pivotal to identify the patients who are likely to undergo surgery, by mean of predictors of outcome, and not to prolong ineffective medical treatment. The perfect timing based on clinical close monitoring is crucial.

Summary

Up to 25% of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) may require hospitalization. The aim of admission is to evaluate severity of the disease, exclude infections and establish proper treatment while monitoring the response. During admission, the patient has to be closely observed for the possible development of toxic megacolon or perforation, which should prompt emergency colectomy. Up to 30% of UC patients will fail to respond to initial intravenous corticosteroid. Non-responder or partial responder to medical therapy should be evaluated for timely surgery or could be considered for rescue medical therapy.

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Correspondence to Antonino Spinelli.

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Dr. Carvello acted as speaker for Takeda and Pfizer. Prof Spinelli acted as a consultant for Ethicon and Frankenman. Dr. Watfah and Dr. Włodarczyk have nothing to disclose.

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Carvello, M., Watfah, J., Włodarczyk, M. et al. The Management of the Hospitalized Ulcerative Colitis Patient: the Medical–Surgical Conundrum. Curr Gastroenterol Rep 22, 11 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11894-020-0750-1

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Keywords

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Inpatient
  • Surgery
  • Urgent management