Presence of pseudopolyps in ulcerative colitis is associated with a higher risk for treatment escalation

Authors Dimitrios S. Politis, Konstantinos Papamichael, Konstantinos H. Katsanos, Ioannis Koulouridis, Despoina Mavromati, Epameinondas V. Tsianos, Dimitrios K. Christodoulou.


Background Pseudopolyps in ulcerative colitis (UC) are considered as indicators of previous episodes of severe inflammation and ulceration of the mucosa. The aim of the study was to investigate the long-term outcomes of patients treated for UC, with or without pseudopolyps.

Methods This was a retrospective single-center study. Consecutive patients with UC and available endoscopic data from 2000 until 2016 were eligible for the study and were followed until June 2017. Patients with incomplete medical/endoscopic charts or interrupted follow up were excluded from the study. Primary outcomes included time to treatment escalation, treatment escalation to biological agents or surgery, and UC-related hospitalization.

Results Eighty-three UC patients were included in the study, of whom 25 (30%) had pseudopolyps. The median duration of follow up was 2.8 years (interquartile range: 1.1-4.9). Multiple Cox regression analysis identified the presence of pseudopolyps as the only variable independently associated with treatment escalation (hazard ratio [HR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-4.3; P=0.014) and escalation to biological agents or surgery (HR 6.3, 95%CI 1.9-20.7; P=0.002).

Conclusion This retrospective single-center study provides the first preliminary evidence that patients with UC and pseudopolyps may represent a subpopulation with a higher inflammatory burden and a greater need for treatment escalation, including to biological agents or surgery. Large, prospective multicenter studies are certainly warranted to confirm these findings.

Keywords Pseudopolyps, ulcerative colitis, immunosuppression, biological treatment

Ann Gastroenterol 2019; 32 (2): 168-173

Original Articles