The researchers registered all Crohn's patients receiving infliximab at their institution in the first year of release.
Disease activity was scored at initial infusion, and at 1, 3, 7, and 12 weeks. Results were tabulated separately for patients with luminal or fistulous Crohn's disease. In addition steroid withdrawal and adverse events were tabulated.
In total 129 patients were treated (81 luminal, 48 fistulous).
The mean number of infusions per patient were 2.38 in luminal Crohn's disease, and 3.23 in fistulous. Median time to response and remission was 8 and 9 days (luminal) vs. 9 and 10 days (fistulous), respectively.
Initial infusion course response and remission rates at 3 weeks were 65% and 31% amongst luminal patients; and 78% and 24% in fistulous, respectively. Rates were higher if concurrently treated with 6-mercaptopurine or azathioprine and improved with subsequent infusions.
|Initial infusion course: response and remission rates at 3 weeks:|
Luminal Crohn's disease - 65% and 31%
Fistulous - 78% and 24%
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Relapse was found to occur in 78% at a mean 8.5 weeks (luminal) and in 71% at a mean of 12.2 weeks (fistulous).
Steroid tapering was seen in more than 90%, with 54% completely off steroids after a second infusion.
Infusion-related reactions were seen in up to 24% of patients. The incidence of side-effects did not differ if on concurrent immunomodulatory therapy.
Researcher R. D. Cohen concluded that, "Clinical experience with infliximab closely parallels the results of the controlled clinical trials, and includes steroid-sparing effects."