Appendectomy for Therapy-Refractory Ulcerative Colitis Results in Pathological Improvement of Colonic Inflammation: Short-Term Results of the PASSION Study

S. Sahami, M. E. Wildenberg, L. Koens, G. Doherty, S. Martin, G. R. A. M. D'Haens, G. Cullen, W. A. Bemelman, D. Winter, C. J. Buskens

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Background and Aims The objective of this study was to examine the modulating effect of an appendectomy on the disease course of therapy-refractory ulcerative colitis [UC] patients, and to analyse appendiceal pathological characteristics predictive of pathological response. Methods Patients with therapy-refractory UC, and referred for proctocolectomy, were invited to undergo laparoscopic appendectomy first. The primary end points were clinical response after 3 and 12 months. Secondary end points were endoscopic remission, failure, and pathologic response. Appendiceal specimens, and pre- and post-operative biopsies were histologically graded according to the validated Geboes score. Results Thirty patients [53% male] with a median age of 40 (interquartile range [IQR], 33-47) underwent appendectomy, with a median preoperative total Mayo score of 9 [IQR, 8-11]. After 12 months, 9 patients [30%] had lasting clinical response, of whom 5 [17%] were in endoscopic remission. Pathological evaluation was possible in 28 patients. After a median of 13.0 weeks [range 7-51], pathological response was seen in 13 patients [46%], with a median decrease of 2 points [range 1-3]. Appendiceal inflammation was highly predictive of pathological response when compared with no inflammation or extensive ulcerations [85% vs 20%, p = 0.001]. Conclusions Appendectomy was effective in one-third of therapy-refractory UC patients, with a substantial proportion of patients demonstrating complete endoscopic remission after 1 year. Pathological response was seen in almost 50% of patients and was related to active inflammation in the appendix, limited disease, and shorter disease duration. These early results suggest that there is a UC patient group that may benefit from appendectomy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-171
JournalJournal of Crohn's and Colitis
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

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