Terminal ileum thickness during maintenance therapy is a predictive marker of the outcome of infliximab therapy in crohn disease

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Background: Mucosal healing has been associated with long-Term response to therapy for Crohn disease (CD). However, little is known about the significance of terminal ileum (TI) transmural thickness in predicting clinical outcomes. Methods: In this retrospective observational cohort study, we examined the association of an index ultrasonographic assessment of TI thickness during the maintenance phase and the subsequent clinical outcome of CD in a cohort of patients treated with infliximab (IFX). Treatment failure was defined as treatment discontinuation because of lack of efficacy, a need for dose escalation, or surgery. Clinical response was defined as treatment continuation in the absence of any of the aforementioned failure criteria. Results: Sixty patients with CD receiving IFX therapy were included in the study. The patients were followed for a median of 16 months (5-24 months) after an index intestinal ultrasound. Thirty-eight patients (63.3%) maintained response to the therapy and 22 patients (36.6%) failed the treatment, with a mean follow up of 10.5 months (6.5-17 months) vs 9.25 months (1-10.25 months), respectively. On univariate analysis, the only variables differing between treatment response and failure were a TI thickness of 2.8 vs 5 mm (P 0.0001) and an IFX trough level of 6.6 vs 3.9 ug/mL (P = 0.008). On multivariable analysis, only a small bowel thickness of 4 mm was associated with the risk of treatment failure (odds ratio, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.49-5.55; P = 0.002). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that transmural thickness of 4 mm can predict subsequent treatment failure in patients with CD treated using IFX, indicating transmural thickness 4 mm as a potential novel valuable therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1625
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Crohn disease
  • bowel wall thickness
  • infliximab
  • intestinal ultrasound
  • treatment response


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