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Journal of Crohn's and Colitis: 9 (8)


Laurence J. Egan, Ireland

Associate Editors

Maria T. Abreu, USAShomron Ben-Horin, IsraelSilvio Danese, ItalyPeter Lakatos, HungaryMiles Parkes, UKGijs van den Brink, NLSéverine Vermeire, Belgium


Published on behalf of

Treatment of acute ulcerative colitis with infliximab, a retrospective study from three Danish hospitals

Christian Mortensen, Sarah Caspersen, Niels Lyhne Christensen, Lise Svenningsen, Niels Thorsgaard, Lisbet Ambrosius Christensen, Flemming Bendtsen
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.crohns.2010.09.004 28-33 First published online: 1 February 2011


Background: In acute steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis, rescue therapy with infliximab has become a therapeutic option in patients facing colectomy. Data on efficacy and safety in this setting are sparse.

Methods: Patients with ulcerative colitis and acute and severe steroid-refractory disease, who were given infliximab as rescue therapy, were identified by a review of patients' records and databases of infliximab-treated patients. Data on patient background, concomitant medication, endoscopic and laboratory results, clinical activity and adverse events were collected.

Results: Fifty-six patients, all admitted because of high disease activity of short duration, and failing high-dose glucocorticoid treatment, received infliximab treatment and were followed up for a median of 538 days (range 2–1769). Colectomy was avoided in 61% of cases. No fatalities were observed. Concomitant medication at the end of follow-up indicated a low number of relapses in patients without colectomies.

Conclusions: Our results show a lasting benefit of infliximab rescue therapy in 61% of patients with acute, steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis, a low incidence of late colectomies, and low frequency of steroid use in patients who avoided colectomy. High levels of C-reactive protein on admittance and at the first infliximab infusion were associated with colectomy. Our study adds to the growing experience of infliximab treatment of patients with acute, steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis.

  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Infliximab
  • Rescue therapy
  • Steroid-refractory
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