Infliximab (IFX) has proven to be an effective addition to the therapeutic arsenal for refractory, fistulizing, and steroid dependent Crohn's disease (CD), with efficacy in the induction and maintenance of clinical remission of CD. Our objective in this study is to report the nationwide, multicenter experience with IFX induction therapy for CD in Hungary.
During a 6-year-period, beginning in 2000, a total of 363 CD patients were treated with IFX as induction therapy (5 mg/kg IFX infusions given at week 0, 2 and 6) at eleven centers in Hungary in this observational study. Data analysis included patient demographics, important disease parameters and the outcome of IFX induction therapy.
Three hundred and sixty three patients (183 women and 180 men) were treated with IFX since 2000. Mean age was 33.5 ± 11.2 years and the mean duration of disease was 6.7 ± 6.1 years. The population included 114 patients (31.4%) with therapy-refractory CD, 195 patients (53.7%) with fistulas, 16 patients (4.4%) with both therapy-refractory CD and fistulas, and 26 patients (7.2%) with steroid dependent CD. Overall response rate was 86.2% (313/363). A higher response rate was observed in patients with shorter disease duration (p = 0.05, OR:0.54, 95%CI:0.29-0.99) and concomitant immunosuppressant therapy (p = 0.05, OR: 2.03, 95%CI:0.165-0.596). Concomitant steroid treatment did not enhance the efficacy of IFX induction therapy. Adverse events included 34 allergic reactions (9.4%), 17 delayed type hypersensitivity (4.7%), 16 infections (4.4%), and 3 malignancies (0.8%).
IFX was safe and effective treatment in this cohort of Hungarian CD patients. Based on our experience co-administration of immunosuppressant therapy is suggested in patients receiving IFX induction therapy. However, concomitant steroid treatment did not enhanced the efficacy of IFX induction therapy.