Infliximab efficacy in pediatric ulcerative colitis

Alexandra P Eidelwein, Carmen Cuffari, Vivian Abadom, Maria Oliva-Hemker
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 2005, 11 (3): 213-8

BACKGROUND: The effects of infliximab, a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) antibody, have been well established in adult patients with inflammatory and fistulizing Crohn's disease. This study evaluates short- and long-term efficacy of infliximab in children with ulcerative colitis.

METHODS: All pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis who received infliximab between July 2001 and November 2003 at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center were identified. Short- and long-term outcomes and adverse reactions were evaluated.

RESULTS: Twelve pediatric patients with ulcerative colitis received infliximab for treatment of fulminant colitis (3 patients), acute exacerbation of colitis (3), steroid-dependent colitis (5), and steroid-refractory colitis (1). Nine patients had a complete short-term response, and 3 had partial improvement. The mean per patient dose of corticosteroid after the first infliximab infusion decreased from 45 mg/day at the first infusion to 22.2 mg/day at 4 weeks (P = 0.02) and 7.8 mg/day at 8 weeks (P = 0.008). Eight patients were classified as long-term responders with a median follow-up time of 10.4 months. Of the 4 long-term nonresponders, 3 underwent colectomy, and the fourth has ongoing chronic symptoms. Three of 4 long-term nonresponders were steroid-refractory compared with 1 of 8 long-term responders. Patients receiving 6-mercaptopurine had a better response to infliximab.

CONCLUSION: Infliximab should be considered in the treatment of children with symptoms of acute moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.

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