Usefulness of monitoring antitumor necrosis factor serum levels during the induction phase in patients with Crohn's disease

Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 May;32(5):588-596. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000001706.


Aims: The aims of this study were (a) to know the kinetics of antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) drug serum levels during the induction phase in patients with Crohn's disease; (b) to identify variables associated with these levels; and (c) to assess the relation between these levels and short-term effectiveness in Crohn's disease patients.

Methods: Patients with Crohn's disease naïve to anti-TNF treatment were prospectively included. Remission was defined as a Crohn's disease activity index (CDAI) score <150 after 14 weeks of treatment. Blood samples were obtained at baseline and at weeks 4, 8, and 14. Adalimumab and infliximab levels were measured, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were constructed, and the area under the ROC curve was calculated.

Results: One-hundred fifty patients with Crohn's disease were included, 79 (53%) received infliximab and 71 (47%) had CDAI > 150 at study entry. At week 14, 52 out of 71 patients with CDAI > 150 at baseline (73%) had clinical remission. There were no differences in infliximab levels between patients with and without remission (8 vs. 9.1 μg/mL, P > 0.05) or with and without response (7 vs. 11 μg/mL, P > 0.05) at week 14. There was a trend to higher levels of adalimumab concentration in responders in comparison with nonresponders (13 vs. 6.7 μg/mL, P = 0.05) and in patients who achieved remission in comparison with nonremitters (13.5 vs. 8.4 μg/mL, P = 0.06). In the multivariate analysis, no variable was predictive of short-term remission, including infliximab and adalimumab serum levels.

Conclusion: Determining anti-TNF serum levels during the induction phase is not useful for predicting short-term remission in patients with Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / pharmacokinetics
  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / blood
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Crohn Disease* / blood
  • Crohn Disease* / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease* / drug therapy
  • Crohn Disease* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Induction Chemotherapy / methods
  • Infliximab / pharmacokinetics
  • Infliximab / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Necrosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Remission Induction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / immunology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Adalimumab