Infliximab (IFX) has been shown to be effective rescue therapy for hospitalized ulcerative colitis patients failing intravenous (IV) corticosteroids (CS). There is little evidence, however, describing its use in similar hospitalized Crohn's Disease (CD) patients.
To determine if IFX is an effective rescue therapy for IV CS resistant CD patients.
A retrospective study of inpatients with CD who received IFX as rescue therapy at 2 tertiary care hospitals from January 1, 2006, to December 31, 2016. Records were reviewed for demographics, disease activity, preadmission and inpatient treatment, surgical rates, and 30- and 90-day readmission rates. Measures and Outcomes: Efficacy of IFX as rescue therapy was defined by discharge without surgery and readmission rates. Only patients failing IV CS before IFX were included in the final analysis.
Forty patients received IFX, of which 17 had failed IV CS. Four patients were receiving outpatient IFX therapy, but still received IV CS during hospitalization before IFX. The mean duration of IV CS therapy before IFX was 6.9 days. Of the 15 patients (88%) who responded to rescue IFX, the median hospital stay following IFX was 3 days (range 3–18 days). Readmission rates were 29% and 47% at 30 and 90 days respectively, without further surgeries noted.
In our series of hospitalized CD patients failing IV CS, those treated with IFX had low rates of urgent surgery and a generally rapid response to treatment, supporting IFX as an effective rescue therapy. By only including those with prior failure of IV CS, we have likely excluded patients for whom IFX was given in the hospital for reasons other than severe disease. Our results suggest that individuals with severe acute CD flare can be treated with early introduction of IFX, avoiding prolonged CS use, and hospitalization.