Cyclosporine as an alternative to surgery in children with inflammatory bowel disease

Keith J. Benkov, Joel R. Rosh, Audrey H. Schwersenz, Henry D. Janowitz, Neal S. LeLeiko

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Five children with ulcerative colitis for whom surgery was recommended were treated with cyclosporine. The five had received corticosteroids for 1-24 months. The group included two patients with acute-onset ulcerative colitis and three with acute exacerbations of intractable corticosteroid-dependent chronic ulcerative colitis. The average age at initiation of cyclosporine therapy was 13.8 years (range, 11.5-16); all five patients were boys. Cyclosporine was initiated in the hospital by continuous i.v. infusion. Trough levels of 400-600 ng/dl (measured by radioimmunoassay) were achieved, at which point oral cyclosporine was given and oral dosage was adjusted to similar levels. Significant hypertension requiring medical attention was seen in one patient. Of the two recently diagnosed acute cases, one failed to respond and required subtotal colectomy after 2 weeks of treatment, and the other, despite an initial response, had a subtotal colectomy 10 months later. Of the three corticosteroid-dependent children, none was able to be weaned from corticosteroids and all underwent subtotal colectomy. Our experience emphasizes that the appropriate role of cyclosporine as therapy for children with ulcerative colitis is yet to be determined. Cyclosporine was not effective as an alternative to surgery in our patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-294
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclosporine
  • Immunosuppression
  • Ulcerative colitis


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