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February 16, 1963

Hypersensitivity Factors in Ulcerative ColitisAn Experimental and Clinical Study

JAMA. 1963;183(7):545-546. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.63700070019009f

ALTHOUGH in the past many factors have been implicated in the etiology of ulcerative colitis, accumulating evidence indicates that ulcerative colitis may belong to the group of hypersensitivity diseases. Severe ulcerative, local inflammatory changes in the colon may at times occur in a sudden, explosive manner implying an acute hypersensitivity reaction. Numerous systemic changes may occur producing associated conditions such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, alteration in serum proteins, iritis, uveitis, arteritis, pyoderma gangraenosum, thrombophlebitis, erythema nodosum, arthritis, or amyloidosis; these also indicate a hypersensitivity state. Furthermore, it has been shown clinically that the most effective therapy for the quick control of ulcerative colitis is based on the use of adrenocorticosteroids. The results of this kind of treatment may be just as dramatic as those in the treatment of acute asthma or other acute allergic reactions. Although allergy or sensitivity to various foodstuffs has been suggested since the early work of