Impact of mucosal healing on long-term outcomes in ulcerative colitis treated with infliximab: a multicenter experience

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2013 May;37(10):998-1004. doi: 10.1111/apt.12289. Epub 2013 Mar 21.


Background: Mucosal healing can be achieved with infliximab (IFX).

Aim: To assess the impact of mucosal healing on long-term outcomes in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) when treated with infliximab (IFX) beyond 1 year.

Methods: All consecutive adult patients with refractory UC receiving maintenance treatment with IFX in five French referral centres were analysed retrospectively. Only patients who had endoscopic evaluation between 6 and 52 weeks following IFX initiation were included. According to their Mayo endoscopic sub-score, patients were categorised into mucosal healing (sub-score: 0-1) and no mucosal healing (2-3). Outcome measures were colectomy and IFX failure defined by drug withdrawal due to secondary failure among primary responders.

Results: Of the 63 patients (30 women; median age: 38 years), 30 (48%) achieved mucosal healing. The median follow-up duration was 27 (3-79) months. Colectomy-free survival rates at 12, 24 and 36 months were, respectively, 100%, 96% and 96% in patients with mucosal healing. The corresponding figures were, respectively, 80%, 65% and 65% in patients without mucosal healing (P = 0.004). By multivariate analysis, mucosal healing was the only factor associated with colectomy-free survival, with an odds ratio of 18.01 (95%CI: 1.58-204.92). IFX failure-free survival rates at 12, 24 and 36 months were, respectively, 76%, 69% and 64% in patients with mucosal healing, and 44%, 25% and 21% in those without mucosal healing (P = 0.003).

Conclusion: Patients with refractory UC who achieved mucosal healing after IFX initiation had better long-term outcomes, with significantly less colectomy and less IFX failure.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • France
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Infliximab