Leukocytes and creatinine may predict severity and guide management of ischemic colitis

Authors Sebastian Manuel Milluzzo, Loredana Correale, Guido De Marco, Guilio Antonelli, Paola Cesaro, Nicola Olivari, Paolo Terragnoli, Tony Sabatini, Cesare Hassan, Cristiano Spada.


Background Ischemic colitis (IC) is caused by a transient hypo-perfusion of the colon leading to mucosal ulcerations, inflammation, and hemorrhage. The primary aim was to identify predictive factors of endoscopic severity of IC. Secondary endpoints were to show epidemiology, clinical presentation, endoscopic findings, and outcomes of IC.

Methods In this single-center retrospective analysis, IC was scored according to endoscopy as: grade 1 (hyperemia, <1 cm erosions and non-confluent ulcers); grade 2 (>1 cm superficial, partially confluent ulcers); and grade 3 (deep or diffuse ulcers or necrosis). Then, IC was grouped into low-(grade 1) and high-grade (grades 2 and 3). Significant (P≤0.1) independent factor of severe IC at univariate analysis were entered into multivariate analysis and considered significant at P<0.05.

Results 227 patients (male:female 60:167; mean age 72.7±16.2 years) were included. IC was scored as grade 1 in 137/227 (60.4%), grade 2 in 62/227 (27.3%), and grade 3 in 28/227 (12.3%) patients. At univariate analysis, age (74.9 vs. 71.3 years; P=0.09), diabetes (14.4% vs. 12.4%; P=0.09), and leukocytosis or creatinine elevation (74.4% vs. 60.6%; P=0.032) were associated with endoscopic high-grade IC. At multivariate analysis, leukocytosis and creatinine levels remained associated with high-grade IC (44.7% vs. 29.9%; odds ratio 1.92, 95% confidence interval 1.07-3.52; P=0.030).

Conclusions Although confounding factors cannot be excluded due to study design and patients’ characteristics, leukocytosis and/or creatinine elevation at hospital admission were significantly related with endoscopic high-grade IC and might be used to stratify patients for the need of endoscopy.

Keywords Ischemic colitis, lower gastrointestinal bleeding, colonoscopy

Ann Gastroenterol 2021; 34 (2): 202-207

Original Articles