Research Article

Retrograde spread of hydrocortisone containing foam given intrarectally in ulcerative colitis.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 06 October 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:822
  1. M J Farthing,
  2. M D Rutland,
  3. M L Clark


    A method is described of estimating retrograde spread through the colon of a 10% hydrocortisone acetate foam by labelling the foam with technetium-99m sulphur colloid and observing spread after intrarectal administration by serial gamma-camera pictures. The recommended 51 ml dose of foam reached the mid-sigmoid colon in all of the nine patients who had active ulcerative colitis. Furthermore, in seven the foam reached the proximal sigmoid colon. Foam spread less extensively in five patients with quiescent disease than in those with active disease. Increasing the volume of enema to 50 ml did not improve retrograde spread through the colon. These results suggest that 10% hydrocortisone foam may be useful in treating patients with distal ulcerative colitis that is not necessarily limited to the rectum.