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BACKGROUND: Endoscopic mucosal healing is an established treatment target for UC, yet the value of achieving histological remission remains unclear. AIMS: To evaluate histological remission compared to endoscopic mucosal healing for predicting patient outcomes in UC. METHODS: Blinded assessment of endoscopic and histological measures of disease activity was performed on patients with established UC at baseline. Concordance and prognostic values of endoscopic mucosal healing (defined by Baron score ≤1) and histological remission (defined by Truelove and Richards' index) for predicting outcomes of corticosteroid use, hospitalisation and colectomy were determined over a median 6 years follow-up, including κ statistics and Cox regression multivariate analysis. RESULTS: 91 patients with UC were followed up for a median 72 months (IQR 54-75 months). Overall, concordance between endoscopic and histological remission was moderate (κ=0.56, 95% CI 0.36 to 0.77); 24% patients had persistent inflammation despite endoscopic remission. Histological remission predicted corticosteroid use and acute severe colitis requiring hospitalisation over the follow-up period (HR 0.42 (0.2 to 0.9), p=0.02; HR 0.21 (0.1 to 0.7), p=0.02; respectively), whereas endoscopic mucosal healing did not (HR 0.86, 95% CI 0.5 to 1.7, p0.65; HR 0.83 95% CI 0.3 to 2.4, p0.74; respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Histological remission is a target distinct from endoscopic mucosal healing in UC and better predicts lower rates of corticosteroid use and acute severe colitis requiring hospitalisation, over a median of 6 years of follow-up. Our findings support the inclusion of histological indices in both UC clinical trials and practice, towards a target of 'complete remission'.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





408 - 414


HISTOPATHOLOGY, INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE, MUCOSAL REPAIR, ULCERATIVE COLITIS, Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Adult, Aged, Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Colectomy, Colitis, Ulcerative, Colon, Colonoscopy, Combined Modality Therapy, Disease Progression, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Hospitalization, Humans, Intestinal Mucosa, Male, Middle Aged, Proportional Hazards Models, Prospective Studies, Remission Induction, Severity of Illness Index, Single-Blind Method, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult