Four patients with Crohn's disease arthritis, who were unresponsive to conventional treatment, improved very rapidly and safely with the use of infliximab, the chimeric antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha. The patients were able to stop or significantly decrease other antirheumatic medications after the infliximab infusions. It is likely that tumor necrosis factor plays a major role in the arthritis as well as the bowel involvement that is seen in Crohn's disease. Suppression of this cytokine may effectively ameliorate Crohn's disease arthritis in some patients.
Sections of Rheumatology (MHE) and Gastroenterology (SH, MS, RC), Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Portions of this paper were presented at the Annual Meeting of the American College of Rheumatology on November 1, 2000, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Address correspondence to: Michael Ellman, MD, The University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Section, 5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 0930, Chicago, IL 60637. Fax: 773-702-8702