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A recent study investigated acute inflammatory responses in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.1 Subjects received 1 mg of heat killed Escherichia coli subcutaneously into each forearm. The magnitude of the ensuing local inflammatory responses, measured as increases in local blood flow, peaked in healthy individuals by 24 hours and resolved within 48 hours. In contrast, the response in two patients with ulcerative colitis was abnormally protracted (supplementary fig 1; supplementary fig 1 can be viewed on the Gut website at http://www.gutjnl.com/supplemental).
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