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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2010 Dec;45(12):1457-63. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2010.510572. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

Long-term effects and colectomy rates in ulcerative colitis patients treated with infliximab: a Danish single center experience.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Medical Section, Herlev Hospital, Denmark.



Infliximab (IFX) is a well-established treatment for both acute, severe ulcerative colitis (UC) and chronic, refractory UC. However, data on the long-term clinical outcome and colectomy rates after IFX treatment in a routine clinical setting are sparse. The aim of this study was to provide further data on the long-term effect of IFX for acute, severe and chronic, refractory UC in unselected patients treated at a single center.


A retrospective analysis of all patients (n = 52) treated with IFX for UC before February 2009 was performed. The material comprised 19 patients (37%) with acute, severe UC and 33 patients (63%) with chronic, refractory UC. The primary outcome was colectomy rate; the secondary outcome clinical response.


The overall colectomy rate was 27% (14/52 patients) after a median follow-up of 22 months (range 4-57 months). The colectomy rate was 37% (7/19 patients) in the group with acute, severe UC and 21% (7/33 patients) among those with chronic, refractory UC. In all, 77% of the patients had clinical response to IFX treatment with no difference between the two subgroups. Among those with an initial clinical response, 50% (20/40 patients) had sustained clinical response.


IFX is of long-term benefit as rescue treatment in selected patients with acute, severe UC with about two-thirds of the patients avoiding colectomy. The beneficial effect on colectomy rate in chronic, refractory UC seems less convincing although these patients may still achieve a sustained clinical response.

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