Long-term outcomes of infliximab treatment and predictors of response in 195 patients with ulcerative colitis: a hospital-based cohort study from Korea

Background: Large-scale studies regarding the long-term efficacy of infliximab (IFX) treatment in non-Caucasian patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) are lacking.

Study: We analyzed the long-term outcomes of IFX in 195 Korean UC patients who received scheduled IFX treatments at Asan Medical Center. IFX failure was defined as IFX discontinuation due to colectomy or non-response to IFX, and additionally UC-related hospitalization or a need for rescue corticosteroids during the course of IFX.

Results: Between December 2006 and October 2016, a total of 3101 infusions of IFX were administered to 195 patients over a median period of 21 months. At the end of the follow-up, 86 patients (44.1%) were still receiving IFX without failure. IFX was stopped in 73 (37.4%) patients due to colectomy (23 patients, 11.8%), non-response to IFX (35 patients, 17.9%) or other reasons such as adverse events or patients’ preferences (15 patients, 7.7%). An additional 36 (18.5%) patients experienced IFX failure during follow-up due to a need for rescue corticosteroids (13 patients, 6.7%), UC-related hospitalization (8 patients, 4.1%), or both (15 patients, 7.7%). The survival free of IFX failure was 58.1% at 1 year, 50.7% at 3 years and 44.8% at 5 years. In a multivariate regression analysis, cytomegalovirus colitis within 3 months before IFX initiation was a predictor of IFX failure (hazard ratio 1.57; 95% confidence interval 1.04–2.37; p = .032).

Conclusions: The long-term efficacy of IFX in a large, real-life cohort of Korean UC patients appears to be comparable to that in previously published Western studies.