Infliximab in the treatment of extra-intestinal manifestations of Crohn's disease

Scand J Rheumatol. Sep-Oct 2005;34(5):387-91. doi: 10.1080/03009740510026698.


Background: Crohn's disease (CD) is frequently associated with extra-intestinal manifestations (EIMs) and infliximab has been recently proposed for the treatment of CD with EIMs. Our aim was to evaluate the short-term efficacy of infliximab in this treatment.

Patients and methods: Thirty CD patients were treated with infliximab. Fifteen patients (50%) showed EIMs before starting therapy. Ten patients presented an arthritis (five sacroiliitis, five spondylitis), with six also reporting peripheral arthralgias. Four patients presented cutaneous EIMs while three patients had an ocular EIM.

Results: At week 10, all patients reported an improvement in EIMs. Regarding arthritis, ASAS20 and ASAS40 improvement was observed in 80% and 60% of patients, respectively. In the four patients with cutaneous EIMs and in the three with ocular EIMs, complete healing was observed. Recurrence was observed in 10 out of 15 patients (66%) and a second course of treatment with infliximab was required. This proved to be effective in all cases except for one patient who stopped treatment because of a severe adverse reaction.

Conclusions: Infliximab is an effective drug in the short-term treatment of EIMs complicating CD. Although relapse of EIMs occurs frequently, retreatment ensures effective control of the symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy
  • Arthralgia / etiology
  • Arthritis / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis / etiology*
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyoderma Gangrenosum / drug therapy
  • Pyoderma Gangrenosum / etiology
  • Spondylitis / drug therapy
  • Spondylitis / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Infliximab