Hematologic studies, including serum and RBC folate assays, were done on 45 outpatients with chronic colitis who either took sulfasalazine (n = 27) or did not use it (n = 18). Overall, sulfasalazine users and nonusers had similar mean hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum folate, and RBC folate levels. However, within the drug users, RBC folate was inversely correlated with drug dose; serum folate was not. Patients taking 2 g or more of sulfasalazine daily had lower mean RBC folate levels (221.2 ± 27.3 ng/mL) than patients either taking less (371.7 ± 35.0 ng/mL) or nonusers (330.3 ± 30.3 ng/mL). Mean corpuscular volume was also related to drug dose but not to RBC folate. Although maintenance sulfasalazine use rarely causes clinically significant folate deficiency, subclinical tissue depletion occurs as a dose-related effect.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine