One-hundred-and-thirteen rectal biopsies and 17 total colectomy specimens from 50 patients with ulcerative proctocolitis were examined. These patients had been followed for periods up to 220 months, mean 70 months. The histological changes were compared with the clinical features of the disease. Patients with relatively benign disease which responded to treatment had significantly raised eosinophil counts in the mucosa examined, compared with patients who had aggressive disease which failed to respond to medical treatment (P less than 0.001). Tissue eosinophilia in the rectal mucosa may provide a simple method for predicting the clinical course of patients with ulcerative proctocolitis.
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