Background: Cyclosporin (CsA) and infliximab (IFX) have proven efficacy in avoiding colectomy in patients with steroid-refractory ulcerative colitis (UC). Aim: To assess the clinical outcome of patients treated with IFX after CsA failure for acute steroid-refractory flares of UC. Methods: Medical records of patients with a steroid-refractory UC flare who did not respond to CsA or relapsed soon after hospital discharge, and who followed rescue therapy with IFX, were reviewed retrospectively. Results: Sixteen patients were included, 69% with extensive UC. Thirteen patients had moderate-to-severe disease activity at the time IFX was started. Median time between CsA discontinuation and the first IFX infusion was 19 days. Thirteen patients completed an induction regimen, and 6 of them followed scheduled maintenance treatment with IFX. After a median time of follow-up from the first IFX infusion of 195 days, 6 patients (37.5%) required colectomy. Median time for colectomy was 47 days. There were no deaths or malignancies, and only one septic complication was recorded. Conclusions: IFX rescue therapy might avoid short-term colectomy in a proportion of steroid-refractory UC patients who do not respond to CsA, but systematic use of sequential rescue therapy is not recommended until more data about its safety profile is available. © 2009 S. Karger AG.
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis