Aim: To evaluate the efficacy of adalimumab induction therapy in patients with ulcerative colitis who previously responded to infliximab and then lost response or became intolerant.
Methods: Ten patients with ulcerative colitis were enrolled in a 4-wk open-label trial. The patients received a loading dose of 160 mg adalimumab at wk 0 followed by 80 mg at wk 2. The primary efficacy measure was clinical improvement at wk 4, as defined by a decrease in clinical activity index (CAI) of more than 4.
Results: Four of 10 patients (40%) benefited from subsequent adalimumab therapy; one patient achieved remission (CAI<4) and 3 had clinical improvement at wk 4. 6 patients had no response (60%); 2 of 6 (33.3%) subsequently underwent colectomy. This was accompanied by a decrease in median CRP concentration from 16.8 mg/mL at baseline to 3.85 mg/mL at wk 4, excluding two patients who underwent colectomy after two infusions of adalimumab. Among the 6 patients with severe colitis (CAI>12) at baseline, none achieved remission and only one patient had clinical improvement at wk 4.
Conclusion: The small advantage of adalimumab in patients with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis and lost response or intolerance to infliximab needs to be confirmed in randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.