Limited data are currently available regarding anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) use and outcomes in very early onset inflammatory bowel disease (VEOIBD) patients. We aimed to assess the long-term outcomes and time to progression to anti-TNF treatment in VEOIBD patients.
We retrospectively reviewed IBD patients diagnosed under 6 years of age, between January 2005 and December 2019, from the British-Columbia (BC) Pediatric IBD database. Demographic data, disease characteristics, disease location and severity were documented. Data on anti-TNF treatment at initiation and during follow up including type of biologic, dosing, and response were collected. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to assess the number of years to progression to anti-TNF treatment and the parameters influencing commencement.
Eighty-nine patients with VEOIBD were diagnosed during the study period. Median age at diagnosis was 3.8 years [interquartile range (IQR) 2.6–5.1], 45.3% had Crohn disease (CD) and 62.8% were males. Median duration of follow up was 6.39 years (IQR 3.71–10.55). Anti-TNF treatment was started on 39.5% of patients and 7.0% underwent surgery. Rapid progression to biologic treatment was associated with Perianal fistulizing disease or stricturing disease in CD patients (P = 0.026, P = 0.033, respectively), and disease severity (P = 0.017) in ulcerative colitis
(UC) patients. The median dose of infliximab at 1 year was 10 mg/kg (IQR 7.5–11) and a median dose interval of 4.5 weeks (IQR 4–6). Clinical remission was reported in 61.8% of patients on their first biologic agent.
The response rate was higher than previously reported and might be due to higher infliximab dosing with shorter infusion intervals than standard dosing.