Efficacy and safety of infliximab as rescue therapy for ulcerative colitis refractory to tacrolimus

Shuji Yamamoto, Hiroshi Nakase, Minoru Matsuura, Yusuke Honzawa, Satohiro Masuda, Ken-ichi Inui, Tsutomu Chiba
Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2010, 25 (5): 886-91

BACKGROUND AND AIM: Little is known about the efficacy and safety of infliximab for ulcerative colitis refractory to tacrolimus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of infliximab in the induction of remission in ulcerative colitis patients with persistent symptoms despite tacrolimus therapy.

METHODS: We report a retrospective, observational, single-center case series of 12 consecutively enrolled patients with ulcerative colitis refractory to tacrolimus that received infliximab therapy for the induction of remission. Eight patients received a single infusion of infliximab, and four received two or more infusions. Median follow-up duration was 16.0 months (range, 1.6-41.4 months). The clinical response was evaluated based on a modified Truelove-Witts severity index.

RESULTS: Six patients (50.0%) achieved clinical remission within 30 days. Overall cumulative colectomy-free survival was estimated to be 58.3% at 41.4 months. Adverse events included an elevation of liver enzymes (1/12; 8.3%) and a mild infusion reaction (1/12; 8.3%). No mortality occurred.

CONCLUSIONS: Infliximab can induce remission in patients with ulcerative colitis who do not tolerate or respond to tacrolimus therapy.

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