Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Long-term follow-up with Granulocyte and Monocyte Apheresis re-treatment in patients with chronically active inflammatory bowel disease

Annelie Lindberg, Michael Eberhardson, Mats Karlsson and Per Karlén*

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical Science and Education, Karolinska Institutet, Södersjukhuset SE-118 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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BMC Gastroenterology 2010, 10:73  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-73

Published: 6 July 2010



Patients with IBD and chronic inflammation refractory to conventional therapy often demonstrate higher risk of serious complications. Combinations of immunosuppression and biological treatment as well as surgical intervention are often used in this patient group. Hence, there is need for additional treatment options. In this observational study, focused on re-treatment and long-term results, Granulocyte/Monocyte Adsorption (GMA, Adacolumn®) treatment has been investigated to study efficacy, safety and quality of life in IBD-patients with chronic activity.


Fifteen patients with ulcerative colitis and 25 patients with Crohn's disease, both groups with chronically active inflammation refractory to conventional medication were included in this observational study. The patients received 5-10 GMA sessions, and the clinical activity was assessed at baseline, after each completed course, and at week 10 and 20 by disease activity index, endoscopy and quality of life evaluation. Relapsed patients were re-treated by GMA in this follow-up study up to 58 months.


Clinical response was seen in 85% and complete remission in 65% of the patients. Ten patients in the UC-group (66%) and 16 patients in the CD-group (64%) maintained clinical and endoscopic remission for an average of 14 months. Fourteen patients who relapsed after showing initial remission were re-treated with GMA and 13 (93%) went into a second remission. Following further relapses, all of seven patients were successfully re-treated for the third time, all of three patients for the fourth time and one for a fifth time.


IBD-patients with chronic inflammation despite conventional therapy seem to benefit from GMA. Re-treatment of relapsing remission patients seems to be effective.