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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2009 Jan;33(1 Pt 1):23-30. doi: 10.1016/j.gcb.2008.07.012. Epub 2008 Dec 31.

TNF antagonists in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease: results of a survey of gastroenterologists in the French region of Lorraine.

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  • 1Inserm U724, service d'hépatogastroentérologie, CHU de Nancy, France.



We conducted a survey of nonacademic gastroenterologists to evaluate the use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


A total of 100 questionnaires were sent by mail to a representative sample of gastroenterologists practicing in the French region of Lorraine.


Forty-six practitioners responded to the survey, of whom 95.5% prescribed scheduled infliximab treatment. After 6 months of infliximab in combination with azathioprine, 55% then prescribed infliximab as monotherapy. A complete pretherapeutic assessment was performed by only one fourth of the gastroenterologists. When the PPD skin test measured 7 mm, nearly half of the physicians introduced anti-TNF therapy without chemoprophylaxis (versus only 2.4% when the diameter was 11 mm). In the event of quiescent Crohn's disease (CD) after 1 year of anti-TNF treatment, 35.7% stopped the drug. In refractory CD, 72.7% prescribed infliximab as the first-line therapy (versus 27.3% who used adalimumab). In patients with urinary tract infection, 44.2% initiated antibiotics and delayed anti-TNF treatment, while 46.5% initiated anti-TNF therapy along with antibiotic therapy.


This study is the first survey upon the use of TNF antagonists by nonacademic gastroenterologists, and the findings suggest that physicians using these drugs may require more information about the pretherapeutic assessment and management of the infectious risk.

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