Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis May Continue Even After Mucosal Healing

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis May Continue Even After Mucosal Healing
Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that up to one-third of patients with ulcerative colitis who achieve mucosal healing still experience increased stool frequency, and suggest that its underlying cause could be long-term damage to the colon, not histological activity. The study, “Discrepancies between patient-reported outcomes, and endoscopic and histological appearance in UC, was recently published in Gut. Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a long-term condition that results in inflammation and ulcers of the colon and rectum. The primary symptoms of active disease are abdominal pain and diarrhea mixed with blood. Blood in the stool is reported in more than 90 percent of UC patients with active disease, and is associated with ulceration of the mucosa and loss of the internal membranes' integrity. The therapeutic target in inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) is now mucosal healing, as confirmed by endoscopy alone or a combination of endoscopy and histology (microscopic examination of the tissues), rather than just treating symptoms. This treatment goal is also referred to as endoscopic mucosal healing — generally defined as the absence of inflammatory and ulcerative lesions in the gut, as seen in endoscopy. However, Jean-Frédéric Colombel, MD, of the Division of Gastroenterology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues saw in a
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