Early Assessment of Acute Ulcerative Colitis with ACE (Albumin, CRP, & Endoscopy)

A recent study showed that admission albumin, CRP and early endoscopy were predictive of outcomes with ulcerative colitis patients admitted for a corticosteroids: RK Grant et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2021; 27: 451-457. Full text (free) The ACE (Albumin, CRP and Endoscopy) Index in Acute Colitis: A Simple Clinical Index on Admission that Predicts Outcome in Patients With Acute Ulcerative Colitis

This retrospective study had 235 patients (median age 38 years). 90% had endoscopy at a median of 2 days from admission. Key findings:

  • 155 of the 235 patients (66.0%) responded to steroids
  • 78.1% (25 of 32) of patients with concurrent CRP ≥50 mg/L, albumin ≤30 g/L, and increased endoscopic severity (severe on physician’s global assessment) (maximum score = 3) did not respond to IV steroids (positive predictive value [PPV] 78.1%, negative predictive value [NPV] 87.1%).
  • Comparison with Truelove and Witts Score: 56 of 119 (47.1%) of those classed TWS severe did not respond to steroids. Previously TWS score of acute severe ulcerative colitis (ASUC), defined by at least 6 bloody stools per day plus at least 1 marker of systemic disturbance has been associated with a 19% risk of colectomy during admission.

My take: In patients with ulcerative colitis who present with low albumin and high CRP values, early escalation of medical therapy is highly likely; don’t forget to check a PPD or quantiferon Gold assay early on.

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