Evidence linking tissue and peripheral eosinophilia with ulcerative colitis (UC) activity and severity was found in a retrospective chart review of pediatric UC cases.

Further, the review found both types of eosinophilia linked with the need for step-up therapy or corticosteroid therapy in the first year following UC diagnosis.

Sara Morgenstern, MD, of Tel Aviv University, and her coauthors reviewed all pediatric UC cases diagnosed between ages 0 and 17 years at the Schneider Children’s Hospital of Israel, Petah Tikva, between 1990 and 2015. Of 96 children diagnosed with UC by colonoscopy and followed for a median of 13 years, 31 had severe eosinophilia at the time of diagnosis, compared with 40 who had mild eosinophilia, and 25 who had a normal tissue eosinophil count. After remission, 77 had a normal eosinophilia and 19 had mild eosinophilia.

“At diagnosis, at follow-up with histologic activity and at follow-up with histologic remission, peripheral eosinophilia was demonstrated in 27%, 30% and 8%, respectively,” Dr. Morgenstern and her coauthors wrote. In the control group, 5% had peripheral eosinophilia, a significant difference ( Dig Liver Dis. 2017 Feb;49[2]:170-4 ).

Disease activity and severity, as measured using the Pediatric UC Activity Index score , correlated significantly with tissue and blood eosinophil counts at diagnosis (P = .02 and P = .01, respectively). Disease activity and severity also correlated significantly with corticosteroid therapy, immunomodulatory therapy, and biologic therapy during the first year following diagnosis (P = .018, .04, and .05 for tissue eosinophilia; P = .013, .01, and .04 for peripheral eosinophilia, respectively).

“These findings may suggest that both tissue and peripheral eosinophilia may serve as a diagnostic marker for disease activity, severity, and short-term outcomes also in the pediatric population,” they wrote.

Dr. Morgenstern and her coauthors had no relevant financial disclosures.