Endovenous Corticosteroid Pulses in Moderate Ulcerative Colitis

  • End date
    Oct 31, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Grupo Espanol de Trabajo en Enfermedad de Crohn y Colitis Ulcerosa
Updated on 26 January 2021


The purpose of this study is to determine the efficacy of high-dose corticosteroid pulses added to conventional oral corticosteroid course for moderate flares of ulcerative colitis.


Oral corticosteroids (CS) are the treatment of choice for moderate flares of ulcerative colitis (UC) in patients who are on 5-aminosalicylic acid (5ASA) maintenance therapy. However, the efficacy of oral CS is limited, with up to 50% of remission rate in the available randomized controlled trials (RCTs). By the other hand, uncompleted disease remission after CS use, that is, clinical but not endoscopic remission, has been associated with a higher risk of hospitalizations and need for immunomodulator or colectomy in UC. Uncontrolled data suggests that intravenous CS (IV CS) may increase the remission rate and also reduce the proportion of patients developing steroid-dependency after the index course of CS.

The hypothesis of this study is that the addition of a 3-day high-dose IV CS pulses schedule administered in the outpatient infusion unit, added to a conventional oral CS course increases the endoscopic remission rate and reduces the 1-year proportion of patients developing steroid-dependency.

This is a randomized, phase IV, open-label, multicenter, controlled study.

The planned number of patients to be included is 148, distributed in two treatment arms (with or without initial high-dose CS pulse), and stratified regarding disease onset and mesalazine use.

The main end-point will be the proportion of patients with steroid-free, clinical and endoscopic remission at 8 and 54 weeks, with no rescue therapies.

The demonstration of a higher efficacy of the proposed treatment schedule would impact on a lower requirement for conventional immunosuppressive therapy (thiopurines) and biological agents, reduced hospitalizations and surgery. Moreover, this treatment regimen allows an outpatient management of moderate flares.

Baseline characteristics will be analyzed by descriptive statistical analysis by conventional methods. Categorical variables will be compared using Mann-Whitney test and continuous variables by Student T test.

In order to evaluate the primary endpoint a Chi square test will be performed to compare the proportions of patients in both study groups that achieved clinical and endoscopic steroid-free remission at 8 weeks and is maintained without steroids or salvage therapy and with no rescue therapy up to 54 weeks.

Per protocol (PP) and intention-to-treat (IT) analysis will be made The Per Protocol analysis will include all participants who did adequately adhere to the protocol, in particular those who did received the total amount of the intervention.

Missing outcomes data will be treated as non-response imputation (NRI). The intention-to treat-analysis will only include all randomized patients in the analysis, all retained in the group to which they were allocated, except those patients with missing outcomes that did not completed treatment regimen due to SAE criteria or treatment failure.

In order to evaluate the secondary endpoints a Chi square test and a Student T test will be performed for both study groups.

Cumulative probabilities of relapse, steroid dependency and surgery will be evaluated in both groups by Kaplan-Meiery, and compared by using log-rank test.

Finally, association analysis of early clinical response, clinical and endoscopic remission at week 8 and week 8 and 54 will be performed by chi-square test and Student T test; those variables that reach a Pvalue 0.1 will be included in the logistic regression analysis.

Condition Ulcerative Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis (Pediatric), Ulcerative Colitis (Pediatric)
Treatment prednisone, Methylprednisolone
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02921555
SponsorGrupo Espanol de Trabajo en Enfermedad de Crohn y Colitis Ulcerosa
Last Modified on26 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Ulcerative colitis diagnosis by Lennard-Jones criteria
Left or extended extent of disease
Moderate flares of ulcerative colitis according to disease activity index (DAI)
No maintenance therapy or 5ASA treatment
The patient is available to understand study procedures and to sign the inform consent form
Inform Consent Form

Exclusion Criteria

Previous or current thiopurines, methotrexate or biological treatment
Administration of systemic corticoids the last 6 months
Acute or moderate systemic infection
Diabetes mellitus or arterial hypertension
Pregnancy or breastfeeding
Allergic reactions associated to corticosteroids therapy
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