P469 Infliximab for induction of medically-induced remission in Crohn's disease: a Cochrane systematic review

Radford, S.(1);Sinopoulou, V.(2);Gordon, M.(2);Eldragini, M.E.A.A.(1);Darie, A.M.(1);Akobeng, A.(3);Moran, G.W.(1);

(1)Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre - Gastrointestinal and Liver disorders theme, Nottingham, United Kingdom;(2)UCLan, School of Medicine, Preston, United Kingdom;(3)Sidra Medicine, Medicine, Doha, Qatar;


Infliximab is a monoclonal antibody that binds and neutralizes tumour necrosis factor-alpha, which is present in high levels in the blood serum, mucosa and stool of patients with Crohn's disease (CD). We sought to determine the effectiveness and safety of infliximab in inducing remission in patients with CD.


On 31 August 2021, we searched CENTRAL, CINAHL, ClinicalTrials.gov, Embase, MEDLINE, and WHO ICTRP with no language, date, publication status, or document type limitations. We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in which infliximab was compared to placebo or another active comparator in adult (18 and over) patients with active CD. The review authors independently conducted data extraction and 'Risk of bias' assessment of the included studies. We expressed dichotomous and continuous outcomes as risk ratios and mean differences with 95% confidence intervals. We assessed the certainty of the evidence using GRADE methodology. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who achieved clinical remission.


We included 9 RCTs (1130 participants). Three studies compared multiple arms with different infliximab doses (between 5mg and 20mg/kg) to placebo. Two studies each with three arms compared azathioprine and placebo, infliximab and placebo, or infliximab and azathioprine combined. One study compared infliximab with biosimilar CT-P13. One study compared infliximab and azathioprine with steroids and azathioprine and only infliximab if no response. The final study compared a single dose (5mg/kg) of infliximab to placebo. In all trials that didn’t require a purine analogue to be given to both study groups, they allowed such concomitant use in both groups. There is evidence that infliximab combined with azathioprine is superior to azathioprine combined with placebo in inducing clinical remission for CD (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.60–2.42, moderate certainty evidence downgraded due to risk of bias, NNT = 3). Sensitivity analysis considering a fixed effects model and then removing a study where most received azathioprine in both groups instead of all, had no impact on the result, which remained significant. There is evidence that there may be no difference in withdrawals from adverse events between infliximab combined with azathioprine and azathioprine combined with placebo when inducing clinical remission for CD (RR 0.74, 95% CI 0.29–1.86, low certainty evidence downgraded due to serious imprecision). The evidence is uncertain for all other comparisons and outcomes due to imprecision from small sample sizes.


There is evidence that infliximab with azathioprine is probably better than azathioprine, however the remaining data is based on limited total patient numbers and offers limited scope for meta-analysis.