Effect of infliximab on the healing of intestinal anastomosis. An experimental study in rats

Int J Surg. 2014;12(9):969-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2014.07.271. Epub 2014 Aug 1.


Background and aim: Infliximab is effective in the induction and maintenance of remission in Crohn's disease. Whether, the perioperative administration of anti-TNF-a compromises intestinal healing leading to anastomotic failure and increased risk of postoperative complications, remains controversial. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of Infliximab on intestinal anastomosis healing.

Methods: Fifty six wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: (a) 20 rats were subjected to excision of part of the terminal ileum followed by anastomosis which was evaluated on the 3rd or 7th postoperative day; (b) 20 rats received Infliximab and thereafter, the same surgical protocol as group (a) was followed; (c) 8 rats received Infliximab and served as relative control group; and (d) 8 served as absolute control group. Bursting pressure was used for testing intestinal healing. Additionally, the anastomoses were examined macroscopically, histologically and immunohistochemically for TGFb1, MMP1, MMP2 and Collagen V. The results were confirmed by Western blot analysis.

Results: There were no significant differences in bursting pressures and septic intra-abdominal events among non-Infliximab (a) and Infliximab-treated (b) groups. Infliximab-treated (b) group showed mild to moderate inflammation, whereas the non-Infliximab (a) group exhibited severe inflammation. Expression of TGFb1, MMP2 and collagen V was significantly higher in the Infliximab-treated (b) group.

Conclusion: Infliximab seems to influence intestinal healing in terms of less inflammatory activity and higher tissue remodeling activity.

Keywords: Anastomosis; Crohn's disease; Infliximab; Wound healing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology*
  • Collagen Type V / analysis
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ileum / surgery*
  • Inflammation / diagnosis
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1 / analysis
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2 / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Surgical Wound Dehiscence / etiology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Collagen Type V
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Tgfb1 protein, rat
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 2
  • Mmp2 protein, rat
  • MMP1 protein, rat
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 1