Extent of early clinical response to infliximab predicts long-term treatment success in active ulcerative colitis

Sanjay K. Murthy, Gordon R. Greenberg, Kenneth Croitoru, Geoffrey C. Nguyen, Mark S. Silverberg, A. Hillary Steinhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: The long-term effectiveness of infliximab (IFX) in ulcerative colitis (UC) and predictors of treatment response remain poorly characterized. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in 213 consecutive patients with active steroid-refractory or steroid-dependent UC treated with induction and scheduled maintenance IFX at an inflammatory bowel disease referral center. Outcomes included annual steroid-free remission (SFR), IFX failure with discontinuation, colectomy, and serious adverse events. Results: The 1-and 5-year cumulative probabilities for SFR were 39% and 14%, for IFX failure were 31.7% and 55.6%, and for colectomy were 19.2% and 37.4%, respectively. A sensitivity analysis considering the last clinical observation in patients with incomplete follow-up demonstrated a long-term SFR rate of 36%. Among responders to IFX induction therapy, achieving clinical remission before maintenance IFX therapy predicted SFR at 1 year (adjusted odds ratio 4.50; 95% CI, 1.75-11.53), whereas the need for IFX dose intensification during the first year of therapy predicted a lower odds of SFR at 1 year (adjusted odds ratio 0.28; 95% CI, 0.11-0.67) and a greater hazard of IFX failure beyond 1 year (adjusted hazard ratio 2.57; 95% CI, 1.14-5.81). Older age and shorter UC duration at IFX initiation predicted poorer long-term outcomes. Conclusions: In patients with moderate-to-severe UC treated with scheduled IFX at an inflammatory bowel disease center, close to half of the patients are still on IFX at 5 years, although a smaller proportion of patients achieve long-term SFR. The magnitude and stability of early response to IFX is associated with long-term therapeutic benefit to this agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2090-2096
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jun 12 2015


  • Infliximab
  • Infliximab failure
  • Steroid-free remission
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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