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Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Feb 1;29(3):308-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2036.2008.03890.x. Epub 2008 Nov 13.

Experience of maintenance infliximab therapy for refractory ulcerative colitis from six centres in England.

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Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.



Infliximab is used for treatment of Crohn's disease and, following the Active Ulcerative Colitis Trials (ACT) 1 and 2, it has been used as rescue and maintenance therapy in moderate and severe ulcerative colitis (UC).


To report on English experience with maintenance infliximab in terms of response and colectomy rates and side-effect profile in UC.


A retrospective audit conducted by using a web-based questionnaire filled in by 12 gastroenterologists from six English centres.


Of the 38 patients receiving induction with infliximab, 28 (73.6%) maintained an ongoing response (8-weekly infusions 5 mg/kg) for a mean duration of 16.8 months (range 4-59), with 21 (55.3%) being in remission. Three of 38 patients (7.9%) who also responded had a secondary loss of response after an average of 10 months (range 8-13); seven of 38 patients (18.4%) showed no response. The colectomy rate was seven of 38 (18.4%, five non-responders and two with secondary loss of response). Adverse effects occurred in five patients (13.2%). Two discontinued infliximab (alopecia, invasive breast cancer). The three less-severe adverse effects were acute and delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions and one persistent otitis media.


Our experience suggests acceptable response rates, colectomy rates and side-effect profile of maintenance therapy with infliximab in moderate and severe UC.

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