Ulcerative colitis: management

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence

Ulcerative colitis is the most common type of inflammatory disease of the bowel. It has an incidence in the UK of approximately 10 per 100,000 people annually, and a prevalence of approximately 240 per 100,000. This amounts to around 146,000 people in the UK with a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown.

Ulcerative colitis usually affects the rectum, and a variable extent of the colon proximal to the rectum. The inflammation is continuous in extent. Inflammation of the rectum is referred to as proctitis, and inflammation of the rectum and sigmoid as proctosigmoiditis. Left-sided colitis refers to disease involving the colon distal to the splenic flexure. Extensive colitis affects the colon proximal to the splenic flexure, and includes pan-colitis, where the whole colon is involved.

This Guidelines summary includes the key priorities for implementation, and sections on pregnant women, and monitoring.

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