Infliximab levels and antibodies in IBD-related peripheral arthralgia

Asaf Levartovsky*, Bella Ungar, Miri Yavzori, Orit Picard, Ella Fudim, Rami Eliakim, Stephane Paul, Xavier Roblin, Shomron Ben-Horin, Uri Kopylov

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Extra-intestinal manifestations (EIM) are common in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and may affect up to 40% of the patients during the course of the disease. Peripheral arthralgia (PA) is by far the most common EIM. To date, TNFα inhibitors are the most established treatment for EIMs in IBD. Infliximab (IFX) trough levels (TL) and anti-IFX antibodies (ATI) are correlated with multiple outcomes in IBD such as clinical response and remission, mucosal healing, fistular healing, and more. So far, a correlation between PA and IFX TL\ATI has not been evaluated. Methods: This retrospective study included IBD patients followed by the gastroenterology department of Sheba Medical Center. Patients with active PA at onset of IFX treatment were included. IFX TL and ATI were evaluated at week 6, 14, and 26 and correlated with PA persistence. Results: Forty patients (37 Crohn’s and 3 ulcerative colitis) with IBD-related PA were included. The overall prevalence of PA was 55% (22/40), 42.5% (17/40), and 55% (22/40) after 6, 14, and 26 weeks, respectively. IFX trough drug levels were not associated with reported PA at week 6 [median, 11.8 μg/ml (IQR 6.6–15.5) vs 10.05 μg/ml (IQR 7.35–12.87), p = 0.56], week 14 [median, 4.7 μg/ml (IQR 2.3–7) vs 3.1 μg/ml (IQR 1.35–7.35), p = 0.55], and week 26 [median, 3 μg/ml (IQR 1.15–5.17) vs 3.4 μg/ml (IQR 0.13–6.75), p = 0.94]. Detectable ATI were significantly more prevalent in patients with PA than in patients without PA at week 26 [11/22 (50%) vs 3/18 (16.7%), p = 0.028]. Conclusions: In patients with IBD-related PA, ATI are associated with an increased risk of persistence of PA. No direct correlation was demonstrated between IFX TL and persistence of PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1148
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Colorectal Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


FundersFunder number
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company
Janssen Pharmaceuticals


    • Extra-intestinal manifestations
    • Inflammatory bowel disease
    • Infliximab
    • Peripheral arthralgia
    • Therapeutic drug monitoring


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