The role of trough serum infliximab (s-IFX) and antibodies toward IFX (ATI) during maintenance treatment remains unclear in children. The aim of the present study was to investigate trough s-IFX and ATI to identify any correlation with inflammatory activity and clinical response in a pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cohort. We investigated the s-IFX trough levels in pediatric IBD patients (n = 45) on maintenance IFX treatment. Ninety-three blood samples were collected and demographics, C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and albumin were recorded. The mean s-IFX trough level was 5.2 µg/mL. The mean trough s-IFX level was significantly higher in the samples taken during remission (7.2 µg/mL) compared to active disease (4.5 µg/mL, p < 0.05). The trough s-IFX levels correlated with ESR, CRP, and albumin. S-IFX was undetectable in eight of the patients, all with positive ATI and active disease. Surprisingly, clinical and biochemical remission was observed at only 26 of the 93 visits. The correlation between dose variations and changes in trough s-IFX was not evident. In line with studies in adults, the s-IFX trough levels correlated with response to infliximab.
Keywords: Crohn’s disease; antibodies toward infliximab; inflammatory bowel disease; trough levels; ulcerative colitis.