Severe attack of ulcerative colitis in children: Retrospective clinical survey

A. Barabino, L. Tegaldo, E. Castellano, P. Gandullia, F. Torrente, C. Marino, G. Mattioli, V. Jasonni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim. To obtain clinical data concerning severe attacks of ulcerative colitis in children. Patients and methods. A retrospective chart review of 37 children with ulcerative colitis was carried out in order to assess the prevalence, risk factors, timing of presentation, and outcome of severe attacks of ulcerative colitis. Results. A total of 20 severe attacks occurred in 15 out of the 37 patients. No difference in the occurrence of severe attacks was detected in relation to age or disease extent at diagnosis. The mean interval between disease diagnosis and a severe attack was 9.1 months (range 0-30). Of the 20 severe attacks, 11 were resolved with medical treatment in a mean time of 11±4.6 days while 9 out of 20 needed urgent surgery in a mean time of 7.4±4.8 days. Of 10 out of the 15 patients who recovered from the first attack 4 required colectomy after a mean time of 6.7 months, another 4 are still in remission at a mean period of 40.7 months, one needed elective surgery after 25 months and one was lost to follow-up. Conclusions. Severe attacks of ulcerative colitis had a high prevalence rate (40%); age and disease extent at presentation were not predictors of their occurrence. Approximately half the attacks resolved with medical treatment alone, while the other half required emergency surgery. After successful medical treatment of the first attack, 40% of children maintained long-term remission, while 40% required early colectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-49
Number of pages6
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Urgent colectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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