Published online Oct 6, 2010. doi: 10.4292/wjgpt.v1.i5.87
Revised: September 21, 2010
Accepted: September 28, 2010
Published online: October 6, 2010
Distal colitis (DC) can be effectively treated with topical 5ASA agents. Suppositories target the rectum while enemas can reliably reach the splenic flexure. Used in combination with oral 5ASAs, the control of the inflammation is even more effective. Unfortunately, resistant DC does occur and can be extremely challenging to manage. In these patients, the use of steroids, immunosuppressants and the anti-tumor necrosis factor α agents are often required. These, however, can be associated with systemic side effects and are not always effective. The investigation of new topical therapeutic agents is thus required as they are rarely associated with significant blood drug levels and side effects are infrequent. Some of the agents that have been proposed for use in resistant distal colitis include butyrate, cyclosporine and nicotine enemas as well as tacrolimus suppositories and tacrolimus, ecabet sodium, arsenic, lidocaine, rebamipide and Ridogrel® enemas. Some of these agents have demonstrated impressive results but the majority of the agents have only been assessed in small open-labelled patient cohorts. Further work is thus required with the investigation of promising agents in the context of randomized double-blinded placebo controlled trials. This review aims to highlight those potentially effective therapies in the management of resistant distal colitis and to promote interest in furthering their investigation.