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Management of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis in adults

Author
Richard P MacDermott, MD
Section Editor
Paul Rutgeerts, MD, PhD, FRCP
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH

INTRODUCTION

Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by relapsing and remitting episodes of inflammation limited to the mucosal layer of the colon. It almost invariably involves the rectum and may extend in a proximal and continuous fashion to involve other portions of the colon.

This topic will review the management of mild to moderate ulcerative colitis. The management of severe ulcerative colitis, steroid-dependent, and steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis are discussed separately. (See "Management of severe ulcerative colitis in adults" and "Approach to adults with steroid-refractory and steroid-dependent ulcerative colitis".)

PRETREATMENT EVALUATION

Patients may present with active symptoms of ulcerative colitis as the initial manifestation or as a clinical recurrence of their disease. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis of ulcerative colitis are discussed separately. (See "Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and prognosis of ulcerative colitis in adults".)

When a patient presents with recurrent symptoms, some aspects of the initial evaluation should be repeated in order to exclude alternative or comorbid conditions as a cause for the symptoms, as well as to assess the current extent and severity of disease. These features are important to guide treatment. In most cases, laboratory studies and endoscopy are required.

Definitions of disease extent — Different terms are used to describe the extent of involvement of ulcerative colitis [1,2]:

                            

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon Mar 07 00:00:00 GMT 2016.
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