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Am J Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct;104(10):2566-71. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2009.372. Epub 2009 Jun 23.

Efficacy of adalimumab in moderate-to-severe pediatric Crohn's disease.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Liver Unit, University Hospital Umberto I, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 324-00161, Italy.



The use of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) antagonists has changed the therapeutic strategy for Crohn's disease (CD). Adalimumab (ADA), a fully human anti-TNF-alpha monoclonal antibody, is an effective therapy for patients with CD, both naive patients and those intolerant or refractory to Infliximab (IFX), a chimeric anti-TNF-alpha agent. However, the use of ADA is rarely reported in pediatric CD. We performed an open prospective evaluation of short- and long-term efficacy and safety of ADA in children with moderate-to-severe CD.


A total of 23 pediatric CD patients (9 naive and 14 intolerant or unresponsive to IFX) received ADA subcutaneously as a loading schedule at weeks 0 and 2, and at every other week (eow) during a 48-week maintenance phase. Loading and maintenance doses were 160/80 and 80 mg eow in 13 cases, 120/80 and 80 mg eow in 2, and 80/40 and 40 mg eow in 8 cases. The primary efficacy outcomes were clinical remission and response at different scheduled visits along the maintenance phase. At baseline, 13 patients also received immunomodulators (IMs).


At weeks 2, 4, 12, 24, and 48, remission rates were 36.3, 60.8, 30.5, 50, and 65.2%, respectively, whereas response rates were 87, 88, 70, 86, and 91%, respectively. Four patients at week 24 and 2 at week 48 received IMs; the mean daily corticosteroid dose, disease activity index, C-reactive protein level, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate decreased significantly throughout the trial. No serious adverse events were recorded.


ADA can be an effective and safe biological agent for inducing and maintaining remission in children with moderate-to-severe CD, even in those with previous IFX therapy.

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