Propionyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride for treatment of mild to moderate colonic inflammatory bowel diseases

Giuseppe Merra, Francesco Franceschi, Emergency Department, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, 00168 Rome, Italy.
World Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.37). 09/2012; 18(36):5065-71. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i36.5065
Source: PubMed


To assess clinical and endoscopic response to propionyl-L-carnitine hydrochloride (PLC) in colonic inflammatory bowel disease.
Patients suffering from mild to moderate ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease (CD) colitis, with disease activity index (DAI) between 3 and 10 and under stable therapy with oral aminosalicylates, mercaptopurine or azathioprine, for at least 8 wk prior to baseline assessments, were considered suitable for enrollment. Fourteen patients were enrolled to assume PLC 2 g/d (two active tablets twice daily) orally. Clinical-endoscopic and histological activity were assessed by DAI and histological index (HI), respectively, following a colonoscopy performed immediately before and after 4 wk treatment. Clinical response was defined as a lowering of at least 3 points in DAI and clinical remission as a DAI score ≤ 2. Histological response was defined as an improvement of HI of at least 1 point. We used median values for the analysis. Differences pre- and post-treatment were analyzed by Wilcoxon signed rank test.
All patients enrolled completed the study. One patient, despite medical advice, took deflazacort 5 d before follow-up colonoscopy examination. No side effects were reported by patients during the trial. After treatment, 71% (SE 12%) of patients achieved clinical response, while 64% (SE 13%) obtained remission. Separating UC from CD patients, we observed a clinical response in 60% (SE 16%) and 100%, respectively. Furthermore 60% (SE 16%) of UC patients and 75% (SE 25%) of CD patients were in clinical remission after therapy. The median DAI was 7 [interquartile range (IQR): 4-8] before treatment and decreased to 2 (IQR: 1-3) (P < 0.01) after treatment. Only patients with UC showed a significant reduction of DAI, from a median 6.5 (IQR: 4-9) before treatment to 2 (IQR: 1-3) after treatment (P < 0.01). Conversely, in CD patients, although displaying a clear reduction of DAI from 7 (IQR: 5.5-7.5) before therapy to 1.5 (IQR: 0.5-2.5) after therapy, differences observed were not significant (P = 0.06). Seventy-nine percent (SE 11%) of patients showed improvement of HI of at least 1 point, while only one CD and two UC patients showed HI stability; none showed HI worsening. Median HI decreased from 1 (IQR: 1-2), to 0.5 (IQR: 0-1) at the endoscopic control in the whole population (P < 0.01), while it changed from 1 (IQR: 1-2) to 0.5 (IQR: 0-1) in UC patients (P < 0.01) and from 1.5 (IQR: 1-2) to 0.5 (IQR: 0-1) in CD patients (P = not significant). The two sample tests of proportions showed no significant differences in clinical and histological response or in clinical remission between UC and CD patients. No side effects were reported during treatment or at 4 wk follow-up visit.
PLC improves endoscopic and histological activity of mild to moderate UC. Further studies are required to evaluate PLC efficacy in colonic CD patients.

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    ABSTRACT: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic inflammatory disorder. Currently, the main goals of treatment are to induce and maintain clinical and/or endoscopic remission. However, evidence indicates that persistent disease activity on colonic biopsies in the setting of clinical or endoscopic remission is an independent predictor of poor outcomes. A number of previous studies have proposed histologic indices for use in specific trials of UC. The aim of this study was to systematically review the existing histological indices for UC and assess their potential use in both patient management and clinical trials. We performed a systematic review of histological indices evaluating disease activity in UC. MEDLINE (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid), PubMed, the Cochrane Library (CENTRAL), and Digestive Diseases Week (DDW) abstracts of randomized and/or controlled trials clinical trials were searched from inception to February 2013 for applicable studies. Data from these studies were reviewed and analyzed. After systematically applying inclusion criteria, we identified 108 scientific articles including 88 clinical studies and 21 related clinical reviews. Eighteen indices of histological activity in UC were identified and reviewed. Although multiple histological scoring indices for assessment of UC disease activity currently exist, none of these instruments were developed using a formal validation process and their operating properties remain poorly understood. Future studies are needed to address this deficiency.
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