Infliximab Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Infliximab (Remicade), a chimeric monoclonal antibody against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), has emerged as promising therapeutic option in perianal fistulizing Crohn's disease (CD). However, little knowledge exists about its use for the treatment of internal fistulas in CD. We present our experience with infliximab in this situation. METHODS: Four patients with CD who had internal fistulas (Case 1: entero-enteral and entero-abdominal; Case 2: entero-enteral; Case 3: entero-enteral and parastomal; Case 4: entero-vesical) were treated with 3 infusions of infliximab (5 mg/kg body weight) with intervals of 2 and 4 weeks. In addition, 3 patients had strictures and 2 patients had perianal fistulas. RESULTS: After the three infusions of infliximab (5 mg/kg body weight), internal fistulas remained unchanged in all patients. The perianal fistulas present in 2 cases were healed. Administration of infliximab was safe and well tolerated in all cases. CONCLUSION: Treatment with 3 infusions of infliximab (5 mg/kg body weight) led to healing of only the perianal fistulas, whereas the internal fistulas were not influenced. We conclude that in these 4 cases, infliximab was well tolerated but not effective for the management of internal fistulas and was no alternative for surgery.


  • Miehsler, Wolfgang
  • Reinisch, Walter
  • Kazemi-Shirazi, Lili
  • Dejaco, Clemens
  • Novacek, Gottfried
  • Ferenci, Peter
  • Herbst, Friedrich
  • Karner, Judith
  • Téleky, Béla
  • Schober, Ewald
  • Vogelsang, Harald

publication date

  • January 2004