Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 52, Issue 9, pp 2044–2053 | Cite as

Leukocytapheresis (LCAP) in the Management of Chronic Active Ulcerative Colitis—Results of a Randomized Pilot Trial

  • Jörg Emmrich
  • Sebastian Petermann
  • Dietrich Nowak
  • Ingolf Beutner
  • Peter Brock
  • Reinhard Klingel
  • Patrick Mausfeld-Lafdhiya
  • Stefan Liebe
  • Wolfgang Ramlow


Recent studies suggest that leukocytapheresis with Cellsorba is a valuable therapy for ulcerative colitis after failure of conventional treatment. In this study the potential of leukocytapheresis to induce remission in refractory chronic colitis under the conditions of European treatment guidelines was investigated. The therapeutic benefit of leukocytapheresis in the maintenance of remission was additionally elucidated. Twenty patients were treated weekly for 5 weeks. A significant decrease in the activity index was observed. Fourteen patients achieved clinical remission, and mucosal healing was observed endoscopically in six patients. After randomization these 14 patients in remission entered a second period of either monthly leukocytapheresis or no further treatment. In both groups steroids were tapered down. After 6 months, only one patient in the control group remained in remission, in contrast to five of eight patients in the leukocytapheresis group. In conclusion, leukocytapheresis may offer a therapeutic option in the induction and the maintenance of remission in chronic active ulcerative colitis.


Leukocytapheresis Inflammatory bowel disease Ulcerative colitis Immunosuppression 



The authors wish to thank the apheresis nurses at the Centre for Apheresis, Rostock, for all their efforts and technical assistance during the performace of LCAP treatments. This work was sponsored by Asahi Medical Co., Ltd. (9-1, Kanda Mitoshirocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8482, Japan), and Asahi Medical GmbH (Arabella Center, Lyoner Str. 44-48, 60528 Frankfurt am Main, Germany).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Emmrich
    • 1
  • Sebastian Petermann
    • 2
  • Dietrich Nowak
    • 2
  • Ingolf Beutner
    • 2
  • Peter Brock
    • 2
  • Reinhard Klingel
    • 3
    • 4
  • Patrick Mausfeld-Lafdhiya
    • 5
  • Stefan Liebe
    • 2
  • Wolfgang Ramlow
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital of RostockRostockGermany
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity Hospital of RostockRostockGermany
  3. 3.Apheresis Research InstituteCologneGermany
  4. 4.Apheresis Research InstituteTorontoCanada
  5. 5.Apheresis Research InstituteCologneGermany
  6. 6.Center for ApheresisRostockGermany

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