Careful patient selection may improve response rates to infliximab in inflammatory bowel disease

J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Oct;22(10):1671-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1746.2006.04739.x.


Background and aim: The use of infliximab in the treatment of Crohn's disease (CD) is acceptable and appears to be effective in ulcerative colitis (UC). Careful patient selection, resulting in infliximab only for truly refractory inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), may improve its efficacy. The present study aimed to determine if careful patient selection improved infliximab efficacy in IBD.

Methods: CD or UC/IBD unclassified patients (Montreal classification) were considered for infliximab treatment only after failure of disease control with conventional therapies and confirmation of active disease. Patients with purely luminal IBD received a single infliximab dose. Patients with fistulizing disease (with or without luminal disease) received infliximab at 0, 2 and 6 weeks. Changes to Harvey Bradshaw (HBI) for inflammatory CD and Colitis Activity Index (CAI) for UC/IBDU were used to determine the response and remission rates. In fistulizing CD, a remission was sustained cessation of drainage and resolution of the fistula. Response was correlated to inflammatory marker levels.

Results: Seventy IBD patients were treated. In CD, 85.2% (46/54) had active luminal and 40.7% (22/54) had fistulizing disease. In luminal CD, at 8 weeks a single infliximab dose induced remission in 75% (24/32) of patients compared to 92.9% (13/14) after infliximab at 0, 2 and 6 weeks. Fistulizing disease responded in 77.2% (17/22) and remitted in 50% (11/22) of patients at 8 weeks. In UC/IBDU, 75% (12/16) responded and 43.8% (7/16) of patients were in remission at 8 weeks.

Conclusion: Careful patient selection may improve infliximab's efficacy and clinical remission appears greater after induction with three infliximab doses in CD. Clinical efficacy is suggested for UC/IBDU.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / economics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Costs
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / economics
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Infliximab