Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 33: 946–953
Background Adalimumab is efficacious therapy for adults with Crohn’s disease (CD).
Aim To summarise the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland paediatric adalimumab experience.
Methods British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) members with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) patients <18 years old commencing adalimumab with at least 4 weeks follow-up. Patient demographics and details of treatment were then collected. Response and remission was assessed using the Paediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (PCDAI)/Physicians Global Assessment (PGA).
Results Seventy-two patients [70 CD, 1 ulcerative colitis (UC), 1 IBD unclassified (IBDU)] from 19 paediatric-centres received adalimumab at a median age of 14.8 (IQR 3.1, range 6.1–17.8) years; 66/70 CD (94%) had previously received infliximab. A dose of 80 mg then 40 mg was used for induction in 41(59%) and 40 mg fortnightly for maintenance in 61 (90%). Remission rates were 24%, 58% and 41% at 1, 6 and 12 months, respectively. Overall 43 (61%) went into remission at some point, with 24 (35%) requiring escalation of therapy. Remission rates were higher in those on concomitant immunosuppression cf. those not on immunosuppression [34/46 (74%) vs. 9/24 (37%), respectively, (χ28.8, P = 0.003)]. There were 15 adverse events (21%) including four (6%) serious adverse events with two sepsis related deaths in patients who were also on immunosuppression and home parenteral nutrition (3% mortality rate).
Conclusions Adalimumab is useful in treatment of refractory paediatric patients with a remission rate of 61%. This treatment benefit should be balanced against side effects, including in this study a 3% mortality rate.