Local injection of infliximab in the postoperative recurrence of Crohn's disease.
Biancone L., Cretella M., Tosti C., Palmieri G., Petruzziello C., Geremia A., Calabrese E., Pallone F.
BACKGROUND: Local injection of infliximab in Crohn's disease (CD) lesions may reduce the risk of rare side effects, reduce the dose, and increase the efficacy of the drug. The objective was to prospectively assess the feasibility and the safety of local injection of infliximab for the postoperative recurrence of patients with CD who were followed for at least 1 year. METHODS: In a pilot, open-label study, 8 patients with CD (3 men; median age 48 years, range 35-82 years) undergoing ileocolonoscopy were prospectively enrolled. Inclusion criteria included the following: (1) localized (<5 cm) recurrence, (2) inflammatory pattern, and (3) clinically inactive CD. At the first endoscopy, lesions were injected with infliximab (median, 30 mg; range, 8-60 mg); a control endoscopy was performed at 2 weeks in 4 patients (3 received a second injection followed by a control endoscopy at 6 weeks) and at 4 weeks in 4 patients (2 received a second injection followed by a control endoscopy at 8 weeks). OBSERVATIONS: No patients showed side effects or clinical relapse in the short term and the long term (median follow-up, 20 months; range, 14-21 months). Endoscopic score improved in 3/8 patients. The histologic scores were reduced in 4 patients, worsened in 3, and were unchanged in one patient with CD. CONCLUSIONS: Local injection of infliximab into patients with CD recurrence is feasible and safe, requiring a low dose. Present findings suggest the need of placebo-controlled trials to assess the efficacy of this new and safe procedure in subgroups of patients with CD.