Comparative effectiveness of anti-TNF agents for Crohn's disease in a tertiary referral IBD practice

Dig Dis Sci. 2013 Jan;58(1):209-15. doi: 10.1007/s10620-012-2323-0. Epub 2012 Sep 27.


Background: The three Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved anti-tumor necrosis factor drugs (anti-TNFs) for Crohn's disease (CD) have not been directly compared.

Aim: To compare the efficacy of the three anti-TNFs for CD in clinical practice.

Methods: Retrospective review of patients initiated on anti-TNF between 2004 and 2008. Disease activity, quality of life, and remission rates were compared between groups over 1 year.

Results: Sixty patients with CD were initiated on anti-TNF from 2004 to 2008: 31 on infliximab (IFX) and 29 on adalimumab (ADA) or certolizumab pegol (CTZ). More patients in the ADA/CTZ scores group had prior exposure to anti-TNF (76 versus 10%, p < 0.01). Mean Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI) scores in the IFX group were lower than in the ADA/CTZ group at 12 months (2.72 ± 3.34 versus 5.63 ± 5.33, p = 0.03). At 12 months, more IFX patients were in remission compared with those on ADA/CTZ (88 versus 53%, p ≤ 0.01). Mean short inflammatory bowel disease questionnaire (SIBDQ) scores were not different between the IFX and ADA/CTZ groups at 12 months. Stratified analyses and logistic regression based on prior anti-TNF use did not show differences in remission rates at any time point post-baseline between groups.

Conclusions: After adjustment for prior anti-TNF there was no difference in remission rates between the IFX and ADA/CTZ groups at any time point post-baseline. This suggests that differences between groups were accounted for by a higher rate of prior anti-TNF in the ADA/CTZ group. Our results should be reviewed with caution given the small sample size.

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Certolizumab Pegol
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments / therapeutic use*
  • Infliximab
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyethylene Glycols / therapeutic use*
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Immunoglobulin Fab Fragments
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab
  • Certolizumab Pegol