JPGN 2014; 59: 758-62. The full abstract for this reference follows but the message from this retrospective study of 33 children is clear –a much smaller percentage of the youngest children respond to infliximab compared to older children, adolescents and adults. In the discussion, the authors note that younger children may need higher dosing to maintain good infliximab levels or the disease pathogenesis may be much different (eg. underlying immunodeficiency and different gene mutations).
Here’s the abstract (from JPGN twitter feed):
Background: Infliximab (IFX) is efficacious for induction and maintenance of remission in pediatric patients with moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It has, however, not been studied in patients 7 years old and younger. Our aim was to characterize efficacy and safety of IFX therapy in this cohort.
Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients with IBD ages 7 years and younger, treated with IFX between 1999 and 2011. Medical records were reviewed for age of diagnosis, disease phenotype, therapy, surgery, IFX infusion dates, dose, and intervals. Outcome measures included physician global assessment, corticosteroid requirement, and adverse events.
Results: Thirty-three children (ages 2.4–7 years) were included. Twenty patients had Crohn disease, 4 had ulcerative colitis, and 9 had indeterminate colitis. Maintenance of IFX therapy at 1, 2, and 3 years was 36%, 18%, and 12%, respectively. Patients of age 5 years and younger had the lowest rates of maintenance of therapy at 25% at year 1, and 10% at years 2 and 3 combined. Nine percent of all of the patients demonstrated response measured by the physician global assessment and were steroid free at 1 year. There were 8 infusion reactions. There were no malignancies, serious infections, or deaths.
Conclusions: IFX demonstrated a modest response rate and a low steroid-sparing effect in patients with IBD 7 years old and younger. Although this is a limited study, there appears to be a trend for decreased sustained efficacy with IFX in this age group, particularly in children 5 years old and younger, when compared with the previously published literature in older children.