Crohn's disease complicated by hepatitis B virus successfully treated with the use of adsorptive depletion of myeloid lineage leucocytes to suppress inflammatory cytokine profile

Cytotherapy. 2014 Jun;16(6):821-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.01.009. Epub 2014 Apr 6.


Background aims: In patients with inflammatory bowel disease infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), immunosuppressive therapy required to suppress active inflammatory bowel disease may promote HBV reactivation.

Methods: A 27-year-old corticosteroid-naive woman with Crohn's disease (CD) activity index of 249.8 complicated by HBV infection was offered Entecavir to control HBV reactivation during immunosuppressive therapy for CD. The patient refused Entecavir, fearing that it might adversely affect her pregnancy outcome. Instead, we applied intensive granulocyte/monocyte adsorptive apheresis (GMA) at two sessions per week to deplete inflammatory cytokine-producing leucocytes as an immunosuppressive therapy in this case.

Results: GMA induced stable remission (CD activity index, I 105) and endoscopic improvement without HBV reactivation or safety concern. Furthermore, CD remission was paralleled by suppression of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin as measured in serum samples.

Conclusions: Immunosuppressive therapy required to treat an active CD potentially can promote HBV reactivation and worsen liver function. In this study involving a CD case complicated by chronic HBV infection, intensive GMA as a non-pharmacologic treatment intervention was associated with clinical remission and endoscopic improvement without HBV reactivation. Furthermore, GMA was well-tolerated and was without any safety concern. However, suppression of tumor necrosis and interleukin-6by GMA in this clinical setting is potentially very interesting.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; hepatitis B virus reactivation; inflammatory cytokines; intensive granulocyte and monocyte apheresis; myeloid lineage leucocytes.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Blood Component Removal
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Crohn Disease / therapy*
  • Crohn Disease / virology
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B virus / pathogenicity
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / therapy*
  • Leukocytes / cytology
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology
  • Pregnancy
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism*


  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha