Secondary Logo

Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Use of Biologics in Pouchitis

A Systematic Review

Herfarth, Hans H., MD, PhD; Long, Millie D., MD, MPH; Isaacs, Kim L., MD, PhD

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: September 2015 - Volume 49 - Issue 8 - p 647–654
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000000367

Data about the effectiveness of biologics, including anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy and anti-integrin strategies, in antibiotic refractory pouchitis or Crohn’s disease–associated pouch complications are sparse. We performed a systematic review of the literature in Medline and Web of Science. All English language publications and meeting abstracts describing patients with pouchitis treated with anti-TNF or anti-integrin therapies were included. We identified a total of 17 papers and 2 abstracts, most of these retrospective case series, including a total of 192 patients treated either with infliximab (n=140) or adalimumab (n=52). No reports were found for anti-integrin therapies or other anti-TNF agents such as certolizumab pegol or golimumab. Because of the heterogeneity of the studies, small numbers of patients, differing cotreatments, and subjective outcome definitions, the exact efficacy of these biological therapies cannot be assessed in a combined fashion. Overall infliximab appears to have good clinical effectiveness in selected patients achieving up to 80% short-term and around 50% long-term response, whereas the few data available for adalimumab are not sufficient to draw valid conclusions. Larger prospectively collected multicenter data with clearly defined inclusion criteria and outcomes are necessary to better define the clinical value of anti-TNF therapy in patients with antibiotic refractory pouchitis or Crohn’s-like complications of the pouch.

Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Supported by National Institutes of Health Grants NIH P30 DK3498 and 1U01-DK092239-01 (H.H.H.).

H.H.H. has received consulting fees from Janssen, Pfizer, and Celltrion; M.D.L. has received consulting fees from Abbvie and Salix. The remaining authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Hans H. Herfarth, MD, PhD, 103 Mason Farm Road, CB 7080, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 (e-mail:

Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.