Send to

Choose Destination
Scand J Gastroenterol. 2015 Mar;50(3):312-20. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2014.1000960. Epub 2015 Jan 12.

Risks for opportunistic tuberculosis infection in a cohort of 873 patients with inflammatory bowel disease receiving a tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor.

Author information

Department of Internal Medicine, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine , Seoul , Korea.



Real-world epidemiological data on tuberculosis (TB) infection in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) receiving TNF-α inhibitors are scarce. We investigated the risks for and case characteristics of TB in a large cohort of IBD patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors in Korea, where TB is endemic.


We performed an observational study on all TB cases identified in a cohort of 873 IBD subjects treated with TNF-α inhibitors from January 2001 to December 2013. The standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of TB was calculated using data from the matched general population.


A total of 25 newly developed TB cases were identified in the cohort (pulmonary TB, 84% [21/25]; extrapulmonary TB, 16% [4/25]). The adjusted SIR of TB was 41.7 (95% confidence interval, 25.3-58.0), compared with that of the matched general population. Nineteen of the 25 patients (76%) developed TB within 2-62 months of initiation of TNF-α inhibitor treatment despite screening negative for latent TB infection (LTBI), whereas three patients with LTBI (12%, 3/25) developed TB 3 months after completion of chemoprophylaxis. The outcomes of TB treatment were mostly favorable, although one death from peritoneal TB was noted. The type of TNF-α inhibitor prescribed (infliximab) was a significant predictor of TB (p = 0.033).


TNF-α inhibitor treatment strikingly increases the risk of TB infection in an IBD population from a TB endemic area. Continuous evaluation of the development of de novo TB infection in IBD patients subjected to long-term TNF inhibitor therapy is mandatory.


inflammatory bowel disease; latent tuberculosis infection; tuberculosis; tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitor

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center