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Colectomy rates in patients with ulcerative colitis following treatment with infliximab or ciclosporin: a systematic literature review

Thorne, Kymberley; Alrubaiy, Laith; Akbari, Ashley; Samuel, David G.; Morrison-Rees, Sian; Roberts, Stephen E.

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: April 2016 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 369–382
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0000000000000568
Review Articles

This review aimed to compile all available published data on colectomy rates following treatment using infliximab or ciclosporin in adult ulcerative colitis patients and to analyse colectomy rates, timing to colectomy and postcolectomy mortality for each treatment. We systematically reviewed the literature after 1990 reporting colectomy rates in ulcerative colitis patients treated with infliximab or ciclosporin, excluding articles on paediatric patients, patients with indeterminate colitis or Crohn’s disease and bowel surgery not related to ulcerative colitis. We presented weighted mean colectomy rates and mortality rates. Cox’s regression was used to assess time to colectomy adjusting for colitis severity, patient age and sex. We tabulated 78 studies reporting on ciclosporin and/or infliximab and colectomy rates or postcolectomy mortality rates. Not all studies reported data in a standardized manner. Infliximab had a significantly lower colectomy rate than ciclosporin at 36 months when analysing all studies, studies directly comparing infliximab and ciclosporin and studies using severe colitis patients, but not at 3, 12 or 24 months. Severity and age were key indicators in the likelihood of undergoing colectomy after treatment. Postcolectomy mortality rates were less than 1.5% for both drugs. This review indicates that long-term colectomy rates following infliximab are significantly lower than ciclosporin in the longer term, and that postcolectomy mortality following infliximab and ciclosporin is very low. However, many key data items were missing from research articles, reducing our ability to establish with more confidence the actual impact of these two drugs on colectomy rates and postcolectomy mortality rates.

aSwansea University Medical School, Swansea University, Swansea

bDepartment of Gastroenterology, West Wales General Hospital, Carmarthen, UK

Correspondence to Kymberley Thorne, PhD, Floor 2, Institute of Life Sciences 2, Swansea University Medical School, Swansea SA2 8PP, UK Tel: +44 179 260 6372; fax: +44 0 179 260 6298; e-mail:

Received October 2, 2015

Accepted December 4, 2015

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