Combining infliximab, anti-MAP and hyperbaric oxygen therapy for resistant fistulizing Crohn's disease

Future Sci OA. 2015 Sep 28;1(4):FSO77. doi: 10.4155/fso.15.77. eCollection 2015 Nov.


Background: Fistulizing Crohn's disease (CD) presents a therapeutic challenge as fistulae are notoriously difficult to heal. Mycobacterium avium ss paratuberculosis (MAP) treatment in CD is gaining attention.

Aim: We evaluated healing of CD fistula(e) using a novel combination therapy.

Study: Nine consecutive patients who failed to heal fistulae on conventional treatment including anti-TNF, were treated with at least three doses of infliximab, 18-30 courses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and anti-MAP antibiotics comprising rifabutin, clarithromycin and clofazimine.

Results: All patients achieved complete healing of fistulae by 6-28 weeks and follow-up for mean 18 months.

Conclusion: Combining infliximab, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and anti-MAP, seems to enable healing of recalcitrant fistulae and although a small case series, all nine patients achieved complete healing.

Keywords: Crohn's disease; Mycobacterium avium ss paratuberculosis; fistula; hyperbaric oxygen therapy; infliximab.

Publication types

  • Case Reports