Ulcerative colitis

Catherine Le Berre, Sailish Honap, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Ulcerative colitis is a lifelong inflammatory disease affecting the rectum and colon to a variable extent. In 2023, the prevalence of ulcerative colitis was estimated to be 5 million cases around the world, and the incidence is increasing worldwide. Ulcerative colitis is thought to occur in people with a genetic predisposition following environmental exposures; gut epithelial barrier defects, the microbiota, and a dysregulated immune response are strongly implicated. Patients usually present with bloody diarrhoea, and the diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical, biological, endoscopic, and histological findings. The aim of medical management is, first, to induce a rapid clinical response and normalise biomarkers and, second, to maintain clinical remission and reach endoscopic normalisation to prevent long-term disability. Treatments for inducing remission include 5-aminosalicylic acid drugs and corticosteroids. Maintenance treatments include 5-aminosalicylic acid drugs, thiopurines, biologics (eg, anti-cytokines and anti-integrins), and small molecules (Janus kinase inhibitors and sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor modulators). Although the therapeutic options are expanding, 10-20% of patients still require proctocolectomy for medically refractory disease. The keys to breaking through this therapeutic ceiling might be the combination of therapeutics with precision and personalised medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)571-584
Number of pages14
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number10401
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2023


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