Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2011; 34: 911–922


Background  Adalimumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody targeting tumour necrosis factor with proven efficacy in the treatment of Crohn’s disease (CD).

Aim  To investigate the predictors of medium-term clinical efficacy and mucosal healing during adalimumab therapy, in patients with CD, in specialised centres approved for biological therapy in Hungary.

Methods  Data capture of the 201 CD patients was standardised and prospective (male/female: 112/89, median age: 33.0 years, duration: 8 years). Previous infliximab therapy had been administered in 48% of patients, concomitant steroids in 41%, azathioprine in 69% and combined therapy in 27% of patients.

Results  Overall clinical response and remission rates at 24 weeks were 78% and 52%, respectively; at 52 weeks were 69% and 44%, respectively. Endoscopic improvement and healing were achieved in 43% and 24% of patients. In a logistic regression model, clinical efficacy and CRP at week 12, need for combined immunosuppression at induction, shorter disease duration and smoking were identified as independent predictors for 12-month clinical outcome, whereas CRP at week 12, clinical remission at week 24, inflammatory parameters and nonsmoking were associated to endoscopic improvement/healing. Intensification to weekly dosing was needed in 16% of patients. Parallel azathioprine therapy and clinical remission at week 12 were inversely associated with dose escalation.

Conclusions  Clinical efficacy and normalised CRP at week 12 (early deep clinical remission) are associated with medium-term clinical efficacy and mucosal healing during adalimumab therapy, whereas need for combined immunosuppression at induction and smoking status are predictors for non-response. Parallel azathioprine therapy may decrease the probability for dose escalation.