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Pulmonary function tests (10 parameters) were carried out in 50 patients of idiopathic ulcerative colitis. Out of a total of 498 parameters estimated, 56 (11.2%) were below 80% of the predicted. The abnormalities were mild in 66.1%, moderate in 25% and severe in 8.9% of cases. Four showed restrictive defect and four had obstructive defect. The most common abnormality was that of maximum mid expiratory flow rate (MMEF) which was found to be less than 80% predicted in 22% of patients. Different patterns of pulmonary function changes were seen according to the duration, severity and extent of ulcerative colitis.