Infliximab therapy in pediatric Crohn’s disease: a review
Kalyan Ray Parashette1, Raghavendra Charan Makam2, Carmen Cuffari3
1Department of Pediatrics, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; 2Department of Internal Medicine, Berkshire Medical Center, Pittsfield, MA, USA; 3Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Baltimore, MD, USA
Abstract: Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) therapy has re-defined our treatment paradigms in managing patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis. Although the ACCENT studies showed proven efficacy in the induction and maintenance of disease remission in adult patients with moderate to severe CD, the pediatric experience was instrumental in bringing forth the notion of “top-down” therapy to improve overall clinical response while reducing the risk of complications resulting from long-standing active disease. Infliximab has proven efficacy in the induction and maintenance of disease remission in children and adolescents with CD. In an open-labeled study of 112 pediatric patients with moderate to severe CD, 58% achieved clinical remission on induction of infliximab (5 mg/kg) therapy. Among those patients who achieved disease remission, 56% maintained disease remission on maintenance (5 mg/kg every 8 weeks) therapy. Longitudinal follow-up studies have also shown that responsiveness to infliximab therapy also correlates well with reduced rates of hospitalization, and surgery for complication of long-standing active disease, including stricture and fistulae formation. Moreover, these children have also been shown to improve overall growth while maintaining an effective disease remission. The pediatric experience has been instructive in suggesting that the early introduction of anti-TNF-α therapy may perhaps alter the natural history of CD in children, an observation that has stimulated a great deal of interest among gastroenterologists who care for adult patients with CD.
Keywords: Crohn’s disease, infliximab, pediatric