2013 Volume 52 Issue 17 Pages 1855-1862
Objective To investigate the short- and long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab (IFX) in intestinal Behçet's disease (BD) patients in a retrospective cohort study.
Methods Among 43 consecutive patients with intestinal BD presenting at the same clinic, 15 with active disease and receiving standard treatment were given IFX infusions (5 mg/kg body weight) every eight weeks. The patients were clinically and endoscopically evaluated before treatment, then assessed after 10 weeks, 12 months and 24 months for a clinical response, defined as a significant improvement in intestinal symptoms and a reduced C-reactive protein (CRP) level.
Results At week 10, 12 patients (80%) exhibited a response to IFX, with eight (53%) in remission with no intestinal symptoms and normal CRP levels. A response to IFX was maintained in seven of the 11 patients (64%) available at 12 months and in four of the eight patients (50%) available at 24 months. Of the seven patients receiving prednisolone at entry, five responders had their steroid doses reduced. Fulminant intestinal BD was predictive of an absence of response to IFX. The adverse effects comprised one infusion reaction and one case of fever, most likely related to IFX.
Conclusion IFX is effective and safe in patients with refractory intestinal BD.