Infliximab in der Therapie der Colitis ulcerosa
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Infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) antibody has dramatically changed the management of various chronic inflammatory disorders such as Crohn's disease (CD), rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or psoriasis. This drug is well established for the treatment of CD in case of steroid-refractoriness, failure to respond to an immunosuppressant agent or fistulizing disease. The immunological concept that ulcerative colitis (UC) reflects primarily a T-helper cell type-2 mediated disease prevented the earlier use of anti-TNF agents in this disease. Promising initial pilot studies in steroid-refractory UC patients led to two large placebo-controlled trials in patients with moderate to severe UC. These studies clearly showed a benefit for infliximab treatment in UC with mucosal healing and improved life quality. Infliximab therefore can be used in patients not responding adequately to steroids and/or immunosuppressants. Furthermore, one study showed evidence that infliximab might also be effective in severe, intravenous steroid-refractory UC. Therefore, infliximab might be used alternatively to cyclosporine A or tacrolimus in this patient group. Infliximab has now been established as an additional treatment option in patients with chronic-active UC not responding to an immunosuppressive agent and/or in case of severe acute UC. Experienced gastroenterologists should be involved in the decision making for such a therapy to balance thoroughly the benefit/risk ratio for our patients.
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