Experience of maintenance infliximab therapy for refractory ulcerative colitis from six centres in England

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Feb 1;29(3):308-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03890.x. Epub 2008 Nov 13.


Background: Infliximab is used for treatment of Crohn's disease and, following the Active Ulcerative Colitis Trials (ACT) 1 and 2, it has been used as rescue and maintenance therapy in moderate and severe ulcerative colitis (UC).

Aim: To report on English experience with maintenance infliximab in terms of response and colectomy rates and side-effect profile in UC.

Methods: A retrospective audit conducted by using a web-based questionnaire filled in by 12 gastroenterologists from six English centres.

Results: Of the 38 patients receiving induction with infliximab, 28 (73.6%) maintained an ongoing response (8-weekly infusions 5 mg/kg) for a mean duration of 16.8 months (range 4-59), with 21 (55.3%) being in remission. Three of 38 patients (7.9%) who also responded had a secondary loss of response after an average of 10 months (range 8-13); seven of 38 patients (18.4%) showed no response. The colectomy rate was seven of 38 (18.4%, five non-responders and two with secondary loss of response). Adverse effects occurred in five patients (13.2%). Two discontinued infliximab (alopecia, invasive breast cancer). The three less-severe adverse effects were acute and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions and one persistent otitis media.

Conclusion: Our experience suggests acceptable response rates, colectomy rates and side-effect profile of maintenance therapy with infliximab in moderate and severe UC.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Colectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / adverse effects
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Infliximab