Therapeutic monitoring of adalimumab at non-trough levels in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

PLoS One. 2021 Jul 9;16(7):e0254548. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0254548. eCollection 2021.


Adalimumab (ADA) trough level and anti-ADA antibody (AAA) positivity influence mucosal healing and loss of response in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In this study, we clarified the correlation between ADA monitoring, including non-trough level, and real-world IBD clinical outcomes. This retrospective, observational, single-center study involved patients with ulcerative colitis (19) and Crohn's disease (33) treated with ADA from January 2007 to August 2018. Serum ADA and AAA levels were measured 4‒14 days after ADA administration. The AAA positivity rate was 23.1% (12/52). ADA continuity was higher in AAA-negative patients than in AAA-positive patients (P = 0.223). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed that a serum AAA cut-off of 9.2 μg/mL was associated with ADA continuity. The ADA level was significantly higher in the endoscopic remission group than in the non-remission group (P = 0.02). Based on the ROC curve analysis results of serum ADA level and endoscopic remission, the cut-off value of the serum ADA level was set to 11.1 μg/mL. Under the combined use of ADA with immunomodulators and AAA positivity, ADA continuity was significantly higher when the serum AAA level at 4-14 days after ADA administration was ≥9.2 μg/mL. Furthermore, endoscopic remission can be expected with a serum ADA level of ≥11.1 μg/mL. Overall, to predict clinical outcomes, it would be useful to measure the blood level of ADA regardless of the timing of the trough.

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / blood
  • Adalimumab / pharmacokinetics*
  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / blood
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy
  • Crohn Disease / blood
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / blood
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy*
  • ROC Curve
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Adalimumab

Grants and funding

No external funding was received for this study.