Thalidomide as rescue therapy for acute severe ulcerative colitis

A. Diamanti, D. Knafelz, F. Panetta, P. De Angelis, M. Candusso, F. Bracci, B. Papadatou, P. Francalanci, L. Monti, G. Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: Acute severe exacerbations of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) represent a medical emergency in children and adults. Intravenous steroids remain the first line therapy for this condition, although the steroid refractoriness is common. Second-line therapy, based on the infliximab or thiopurines should be started if no response to corticosteroids is noted. The use of infliximab in children with acute severe UC, nevertheless, does not avoid the colectomy in all cases. METHODS: We present a case of severe acute UC in a paediatric patient successfully treated with thalidomide following the failed treatment with infliximab and a review of the literature. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first case of a patient presenting with acute severe UC who was treated with thalidomide, with favorable evolution. In our case the use of this drug was able to avoid the colectomy that represent the conventional but very invasive recommended therapeutic option of this condition. Therefore, thalidomide may be considered as rescue therapy in selected and carefully monitored cases of acute severe CU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1690-1693
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Basiliximab
  • Children
  • Cyclosporine
  • Infliximab
  • Severe acute ulcerative colitis
  • Thalidomide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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