Durability of Infliximab Dose Intensification in Crohn's Disease

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.55). 11/2011; 57(4):1013-9. DOI: 10.1007/s10620-011-1969-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Dose intensification is a common approach to treat Crohn's disease (CD) patients who lose response to infliximab maintenance therapy. Few studies have reported upon its long-term efficacy or predictors of response.
The goal of this study is to investigate durability and predictors of response to dose intensification-including method of dose intensification, combination immunomodulator therapy, and premedication with intravenous hydrocortisone.
We performed a retrospective study of dose-intensified CD patients at our institution. Dose intensification was defined as an increase in dose from 5 to 10 mg/kg, an increase in frequency of infusions from every 8 weeks to every 6 weeks or less, or both an increase in dose and frequency.
Thirty CD patients (mean age, 39.9 years) met study criteria and underwent dose intensification. Ten (33.3%) patients remained on dose intensification at the end of our study or returned to their former infliximab dose or schedule (median follow-up, 41 months). Fourteen patients (46.7%) eventually lost response to dose intensification, but dose intensification extended infliximab therapy by a median duration of 9 months. Six patients (20%) didn't respond to dose intensification. Neither method of dose intensification, combination immunomodulator therapy, nor premedication with intravenous hydrocortisone predicted initial or durable response to dose intensification. However, analysis of predictors was limited by the small sample size of our study.
The majority of CD patients respond to dose intensification, and a substantial portion will experience durable response such that infliximab therapy is successfully extended by one or more years.

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