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Early objective markers for failure of intravenous[iv] corticosteroid for acute severe colitis [ASC] can avoid delay in rescue therapy or colectomy. We investigated faecal calprotectin [FC], C-reactive protein [CRP], and endoscopy using the ulcerative colitis endoscopic index of severity [UCEIS] as predictors of steroid failure following intensive therapy of ASC.Consecutive patients with ASC satisfying Truelove and Witts' criteria, hospitalised at a single centre from May 2015 to November 2016, were included; all received iv corticosteroids. The primary outcome measure was steroid failure defined as colectomy and/or rescue therapy with ciclosporin or infliximab during admission. FC levels were measured at admission and on Day 3 of intensive therapy. UCEIS was scored at admission, and CRP on Day 3 of intensive therapy.Of 49 patients, 21 [43%] failed iv corticosteroids and 15 [31%] underwent surgery. FC levels were significantly higher in steroid failures (2522 [590-9654] µg/g) compared with steroid responders (1530 [352-10278] µg/g) at admission [p = 0.04], as well as on Day 3 of iv corticosteroid therapy (2718 [222-9175] µg/g vs 727 [218-4062] µg/g, p = 0.001). Steroid failures had a higher median [range] UCEIS score than responders (6 [4-8] vs 5 [4-7] [p = 0.001]). CRP level did not differ significantly between steroid failures and responders. A UCEIS > 6 at admission and FC > 1000 µg/g on Day 3 were independent predictors of steroid failure and need for rescue therapy/colectomy.All patients with UCEIS > 6 and Day 3 FC > 1000 µg/g failed iv corticosteroids. The UCEIS score on admission and Day 3 FC are early predictors of failure of ivcorticosteroid therapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Crohn's & colitis

Publication Date





1309 - 1316


Departments of Gastroenterology.