IBD Update January 2015 (Part 2)

1. A retrospective study (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 2292-98) of 217 patients with inflammatory bowel disease(108 infliximab-treated, 109 adalimumab-treated) provides data which indicates that combination therapy (mainly with thiopurines) resulted in higher trough levels and lower antibodies to infliximab (ATI) than monotherapy in patients treated with infliximab (IFX).  This was not evident in the adalimumab (ADA)-treated patients. Overall, approximately 90% of study population had Crohn’s disease.

Key points from this study:

  • The majority of trough level/antidrug antibody levels were drawn due to loss of response.  This is a major limitation of this study.
  • Among IFX-treated patients, those with combination therapy had trough level of 7.5 mcg/mL compared with 4.6 mcg/mL.  In combination therapy patients, the incidence of ATIs was 5.7% compared with 29.8% in monotherapy patients.
  • According to this study, the dose of the immunomodulator (IM) did not significantly influence the infliximab trough level or antibody formation; that is, more than half of patients were receiving “suboptimal dosed IM” and their infliximab levels/ATIs were similar to those who were optimally-dosed.
  • Among those who were receiving combination therapy, the incidence of antibody formation was lower in IFX-treated patients who started IM concurrently with IFX compared with those in which IM was added subsequently.
  • There were many other limitations in this study, including the finding that 94% of monotherapy patients had received previous immunomodulator therapy.

Bottomline: This study suggests that combination therapy is beneficial for patients receiving infliximab (in agreement with the previous SONIC study) and may not be beneficial for patients receiving adalimumab; however, only a well-designed prospective study

2. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 2266-70.  This study with 749 patients from Sweden showed that a large number of inflammatory bowel disease patients did not receive with iron supplementation: “Only 46% of patients with anemia were treated with iron supplementation or blood transfusion.”  This study showed frequent persistence of anemia one year after diagnosis, especially in children. At time of diagnosis, 55% of children and 27% of adults had anemia and 28% and 16% at one year followup, respectively.

My take: Treatment of the underlying IBD, often helps anemia.  However, in some patients treating the anemia with iron may help improve symptoms as much or more than other aspects of treatment.

3. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 2433-49.  Reviews pain management approaches for patients with IBD. The article emphasizes how pain can be multifactoral and that opiod-induced hyperalgesia may worsen pain.

Related blog posts:


Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon


3 thoughts on “IBD Update January 2015 (Part 2)

  1. Pingback: More on Adalimumab (Humira) in Pediatrics | gutsandgrowth

  2. Pingback: Is It Right? Anti-TNF Therapy Does Not Fix IBD-Related Anemia | gutsandgrowth

  3. Pingback: Be Aggressive! Treating Anemia Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease | gutsandgrowth

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