Data on using infliximab for the treatment of pediatric Crohn's disease is limited, but suggests utility in the treatment of refractory disease.
In this study, published in the January issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, researchers reviewed their experience using infliximab at a large pediatric center.
The research team performed a retrospective review of all infliximab infusions administered to patients with Crohn's disease (CD).
Data were obtained from database and pharmacy records.
|Of 33 patients, 58% became independent and remained free of corticosteroids.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The team also used chart reviews and interviews with physicians, patients, and families to obtain missing data.
A total of 432 infusions were administered to 82 patients (34 female and 48 male) with CD.
The team determined that the number of infusions each patient received ranged from 1 to 18, with a mean of 5.3.
They found that of 33 patients, 58% became independent and remained free of corticosteroids.
They also identified a statistically significant difference in the steroid dose between 0 and 4 weeks, and 0 and 8 weeks.
Over all, the researchers found that 23 infusion reactions occurred (5%).
In addition, 3 patients developed herpes zoster, and 1 developed Listeria monocytogenes meningitis.
However, no patients were documented to have delayed hypersensitivity reactions or malignancies.
Dr Michael Stephens's team concluded, "Infliximab is safe and effective for treating pediatric patients with CD".
"A steroid-sparing effect was demonstrated".
"The most common adverse reaction to infliximab was infusion reaction".
"These reactions did not preclude further use of the agent".
"Serious infections were seen in a small number of patients".