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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2005 Nov;40(11):1374-7.

6-Thioguanine for Crohn's disease during pregnancy: thiopurine metabolite measurements in both mother and child.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, PO Box 7057, VU University Medical Centre, 1007 MB Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


6-Thioguanine is used as an escape thiopurine for treating inflammatory bowel disease patients intolerant or refractory to azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine or methotrexate. Case reports show conflicting data on the use of 6-thioguanine throughout pregnancy. The administration of the standard thiopurines is believed to be relatively safe. We describe two patients with Crohn's disease treated with low-dose 6-thioguanine during all trimesters of their pregnancies. The pregnancies resulted in two healthy infants: without congenital abnormalities, laboratory signs of myelosuppression or hepatocellular injury. Thiopurine metabolites were measured in mother and infant. Significantly lower levels of 6-thioguaninenucleotides were found in the erythrocytes of the infant compared to the mother (ratio 1:12). Further studies are needed to determine the clinical importance of thiopurine metabolite measurements during pregnancy in mother and child.

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