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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 27;9(1):e86692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086692. eCollection 2014.

Tumor necrosis factor alpha blocking agents as treatment for ulcerative colitis intolerant or refractory to conventional medical therapy: a meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China ; Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
  • 3School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.
  • 4Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong Medical College, Zhanjiang, Guangdong, People's Republic of China.
  • 5Emergency Department of Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Efficacy of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) blockers for treatment of ulcerative colitis that is unresponsive to conventional therapy is unclear due to recent studies yielding conflicting results.

AIM:

To assess the efficacy and safety of anti-TNF-α agents for treatment of ulcerative colitis patients who were intolerant or refractory to conventional medical therapy.

METHODS:

Pubmed, Embase, and the Cochrane database were searched. Analysis was performed on randomized controlled trials that assessed anti-TNF-α therapy on ulcerative colitis patients that had previously failed therapy with corticosteroids and/or immunosuppressants. The primary outcome focused on was the frequency of patients that achieved clinical remission. Further trial outcomes of interest included rates of remission without patient use of corticosteroids during the trial, extent of mucosal healing, and the number of cases that resulted in colectomy and serious side effects.

RESULTS:

Eight trials from seven studies (n = 2122) met the inclusion criteria and were thus included during analysis. TNF-α blockers demonstrated clinical benefit as compared to placebo control as evidenced by an increased frequency of clinical remission (p<0.00001), steroid-free remission (p = 0.01), endoscopic remission (p<0.00001) and a decrease in frequency of colectomy (p = 0.03). No difference was found concerning serious side effects (p = 0.05). Three small trials (n = 57) comparing infliximab to corticosteroid treatment, showed no difference in frequency of clinical remission (p = 0.93), mucosal healing (p = 0.80), and requirement for a colectomy (p = 0.49). One trial compared infliximab to cyclosporine (n = 115), wherein no difference was found in terms of mucosal healing (p = 0.85), colectomy frequency (p = 0.60) and serious side effects (p = 0.23).

CONCLUSION:

TNF-α blockers are effective and safe therapies for the induction and maintenance of long-term remission and prevention of treatment by colectomy for patients with refractory ulcerative colitis where conventional treatment was previously ineffective. Furthermore, infliximab and cyclosporine were found to be comparable for treating acute severe steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis.

PMID:
24475168
PMCID:
PMC3903567
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0086692
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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