Systematic review: granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis for ulcerative colitisS. Thanaraj, P. J. Hamlin, A. C. Ford. Alimentary Pharmacology & TherapeuticsArticle first published online: 14 OCT 2010 Background Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) that is chronically active despite 5-aminosalicylates or immunomodulators, or who are dependent on corticosteroids to maintain remission, have limited treatment options. Granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMAA) may have a role in this situation.Aim To conduct a systematic review of GMAA in UC. Methods MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials were searched to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing GMAA with conventional medical therapy, sham procedure or ‘intensive’ with ‘conventional’ GMAA regimens in adult UC patients. Studies reported clinical remission or response rates. Results Ten RCTs were eligible. Formal meta-analysis was not undertaken due to concerns about methodological quality of identified studies. Compared with medical therapy, remission rates with GMAA were generally higher, and corticosteroid-sparing effects were observed. Compared with sham procedure, GMAA did not achieve significantly higher remission rates. ‘Intensive’ GMAA regimens demonstrated generally higher remission rates, and time to remission was shorter compared with ‘conventional’ regimens. Only two RCTs were at low risk of bias. Six were conducted in Japanese patients, which may limit generalizability. Conclusions Granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis appears of some benefit in UC. High-quality RCTs comparing granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis with conventional medical therapy or sham procedure in Western populations, with disease activity confirmed endoscopically, are required.