[Long-term evaluation of infliximab in the treatment of persistently active juvenile idiopathic arthritis refractory to conventional therapy]

Reumatismo. Jan-Mar 2007;59(1):50-6. doi: 10.4081/reumatismo.2007.50.
[Article in Italian]


Objectives: To evaluate, in long-term open label prospective study, infliximab as therapeutic choice for Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) non responsive to conventional therapy.

Methods: We enrolled to treat with infliximab 78 JIA patients (66 females, 12 males): the mean age was 20.7+/-7.1 years (median 20.9, range 5.4-34.9); mean JIA duration was 13.6+/-7.6 years (median 13.5, range 0.4-31.4). Infliximab, at dose of 3-10 mg/kg/infusion added to weekly subcutaneous Methotrexate or other previous DMARDs, was administered by intravenous infusions at weeks 0, 2, 6 and every 8 weeks thereafter. Chest X-ray, Mantoux's test, electrocardiogram were performed at baseline; laboratory tests and clinical evaluation were performed at each infusion. Response was evaluated according to ACR improvement criteria.

Results: Mean treatment period was 21.6 months+/-18.8 (median 14.7, range 1.4-72.4). Just after first infusion most of patients reported significant improvement in pain, fatigue, morning stiffness. Infliximab is still successfully administered to 23 patients (29.5%); 55 (70.5%) patients suspended because of: inefficacy (7), infusion reactions (17), adverse events (9), disease flare-up after a period of effectiveness on synovitis, pain, and morning stiffness (19), remission (2), lack of compliance to treatment (1). Infusion reactions, like dyspnea, flushing, chills, headache, hypotension, anxiety, throat oedema, were observed in 29 patients (34.5%). Anti-DNA antibodies were present in 7 patients (none developed Systemic Lupus Erythematous).

Conclusions: Infliximab showed impressive effectiveness treating refractory JIA, although most of patients had to discontinue treatment because of disease flare-up or adverse events. Infliximab may represent a good therapeutic choice in patients non-responders to Methotrexate.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Infliximab
  • Methotrexate