Last reviewed 01/2018

The severity of ulcerative colitis can be assessed on the basis of:

  • bowel frequency - less than four motions per day is considered mild, more than six is severe.
  • rectal bleeding
  • temperature - patients with mild disease are apyrexial, those with severe disease may be higher than 37.8øC
  • haemoglobin of less than 10.5 is considered severe, greater than 11 is mild
  • ESR of less than 30mm per hour is mild, greater than this is severe
  • tachycardia is related to severity
  • low albumin - below 30g per litre implies severe disease (1)

So the severity of disease activity of Ulcerative colitis can be graded as:

  • mild
    • less than four stools daily, with or without blood
    • without systemic disturbance
    • normal ESR and CRP values
  • moderate
    • four to six stools a day with minimal systemic disturbance
  • severe
    • more than six stools a day, containing blood
    • and evidence of systemic disturbance (fever, tachycardia, anaemia, or hypoalbuminaemia) (2)