Pathogenesis of and unifying hypothesis for idiopathic pouchitis.
AffiliationSchool of Medicine and Medical Sciences University College Dublin, St Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. firstname.lastname@example.org
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CitationPathogenesis of and unifying hypothesis for idiopathic pouchitis. 2009, 104 (4):1013-23 Am. J. Gastroenterol.
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
AbstractIleal pouch-anal anastomosis is the procedure of choice in the surgical management of refractory ulcerative colitis. Pouchitis affects up to 60% of patients following ileal pouch-anal anastomosis for ulcerative colitis. It overlaps significantly with ulcerative colitis such that improvements in our understanding of one will impact considerably on the other. The symptoms are distressing and impinge significantly on patients' quality of life. Despite 30 years of scientific and clinical investigation, the pathogenesis of pouchitis is unknown; however, recent advances in molecular and cell biology make a synergistic hypothesis possible. This hypothesis links interaction between epithelial metaplasia, changes in luminal bacteria (in particular sulfate-reducing bacteria), and altered mucosal immunity. Specifically, colonic metaplasia supports colonization by sulfate-reducing bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide. This causes mucosal depletion and subsequent inflammation. Although in most cases antibiotics lead to bacterial clearance and symptom resolution, immunogenetic subpopulations can develop a chronic refractory variant of pouchitis. The aims of this paper are to discuss proposed pathogenic mechanisms and to describe a novel mechanism that combines many hypotheses and explains several aspects of pouchitis. The implications for the management of both pouchitis and ulcerative colitis are discussed.