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Dose-Intensified Infliximab Rescue Therapy for Severe Ulcerative Colitis Does not Reduce Short-term Colectomy Rates or Increase Postoperative Complications

Dis Colon Rectum. 2021 Dec 13. doi: 10.1097/DCR.0000000000002176. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Dose-intensified rescue therapy with infliximab for hospitalized patients with ulcerative colitis has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, there is ongoing debate about both the efficacy of these regimens to reduce the rate of colectomy and the associated risks of increased infliximab exposure.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to compare the colectomy and postoperative complication rates in hospitalized patients with severe ulcerative colitis receiving standard infliximab induction therapy (3 doses of 5mg/kg at week 0, 2, 6) and dose-intensified regimens including a higher weight-based dosing or more rapid interval.

DESIGN: This was a retrospective cohort study.

SETTINGS: This study was conducted at an academic tertiary care hospital.

PATIENTS: A total of145 adult patients receiving inpatient rescue infliximab therapy for the treatment of ulcerative colitis between 2008 and 2020.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was colectomy rate within 3 months of rescue therapy. Secondary outcomes include mid-term colectomy rates as well as perioperative complications in patients receiving colectomy within 3 months of rescue infliximab initiation.

RESULTS: The proportion of dose-intensified regimens increased over time. Unadjusted 3-month colectomy rates were 14% in patients who received standard rescue infliximab dosing, 16% in patients given a single dose-escalated dose, and 24% in patients given multiple inpatient dose-escalated doses. These rates were not statistically significantly different. Of the patients requiring colectomy within 3 months of infliximab rescue, those who received multiple inpatient doses of dose-escalated therapy had a higher percentage of colectomy during the initial hospitalization but a lower rate of perioperative complications.

LIMITATIONS: Retrospective data and limited power to account for heterogeneity of disease.

CONCLUSIONS: No significant difference was found in colectomy rates between patients receiving standard or dose-intensified regimens. However, dose-intensified regimens, including multiple inpatient doses given to patients with more severe disease, were not associated with a greater risk of perioperative complications. See Video Abstract at

PMID:35714346 | DOI:10.1097/DCR.0000000000002176

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