Effectiveness of Tofacitinib for Hospitalized Patients with Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis: Case Series Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background

    Treatment options for acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC) are limited. Tofacitinib, an approved treatment for moderate to severe ulcerative colitis, could be a potential rescue therapy for ASUC given its rapid onset of action.


    To evaluate the effectiveness of tofacitinib in hospitalized patients with ASUC refractory to standard therapy in a real-world setting.


    Retrospective observational study of hospitalized adult patients with ASUC treated with tofacitinib between January 2019 and September 2020 at five Canadian centers. We extracted patient demographics, clinical status, biomarkers (C-reactive protein and fecal calprotectin), endoscopic findings, and colectomy-free rate at admission, 30 days, 90 days, and 6 months after tofacitinib initiation.


    Eight patients with symptoms refractory to standard rescue therapy (corticosteroids ± infliximab if infliximab-naïve prior to admission) were treated with tofacitinib. During index hospitalization, clinical response was observed in 5/8 patients. The median time to discharge post-tofacitinib initiation was 5 days (IQR 5.0-6). At 30 and 90 days, all five responders were in clinical remission. At 6 months, only 3/5 responders remained in clinical remission. The colectomy-free rate was 37.5% during the follow-up period (two colectomies occurred within 30 days; one occurred within 90 days). No drug-related adverse reaction occurred.


    In this small case-series, tofacitinib was an effective rescue therapy in patients with refractory ASUC. These findings need to be evaluated in a randomized controlled trial.


  • Xiao, Yasi
  • Benoit, Nicolas
  • Sedano, Rocio
  • Jairath, Vipul
  • Narula, Neeraj
  • McCurdy, Jeffrey D
  • Rosenfeld, Greg
  • Afif, Waqqas
  • Lakatos, Peter L
  • Bessissow, Talat

publication date

  • November 2022