DOI: 10.1093/ecco-jcc/jjae034 ISSN: 1873-9946

Contrast enhanced endoscopic ultrasound detects early therapy response following anti-TNF-therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis

Mark Ellrichmann, Berenice Schulte, Claudio C Conrad, Stephan Schoch, Johannes Bethge, Marcus Seeger, Robert Huber, Madita Goeb, Alexander Arlt, Susanna Nikolaus, Christoph Röcken, Stefan Schreiber
  • Gastroenterology
  • General Medicine


Background and Aim

Though colonoscopy plays a crucial role in assessing active ulcerative colitis (aUC), its scope is limited to the mucosal surface. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) coupled with contrast-enhancement (dCEUS) can precisely quantify bowel wall thickness and microvascular circulation, potentially enabling the quantitative evaluation of inflammation.

We conducted a prospective, longitudinal study to assess therapy response using dCEUS in aUC patients undergoing treatment with adalimumab (ADA) or infliximab (IFX).


30 ADA- and 15 IFX-treated aUC patients were examined at baseline and at 2, 6, 14 weeks of therapy and 48 weeks of follow-up. Bowel wall thickness (BWT) was measured by EUS in the rectum. Vascularity was quantified by dCEUS using Rise Time (RT) and Time To Peak (TTP). Therapy response was defined after 14 weeks using the Mayo Score.


Patients with aUC displayed a mean BWT of 3.9±0.9 mm. In case of response to ADA/IFX a significant reduction in BWT was observed after 2 weeks (p=0.04), whereas non-responders displayed no significant changes. The TTP was notably accelerated at baseline and significantly normalised by week 2 in responders (p=0.001), while non-responders exhibited no significant alterations (p=0.9). At week 2, the endoscopic Mayo score did not exhibit any changes, thus failing to predict treatment responses.


dCEUS enables the early detection of therapy response in patients with aUC, which serves as a predictive marker for long term clinical success. Therefore, dCEUS serves as a diagnostic tool for assessing the probability of future therapy success.

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