Efficacy of Tumour Necrosis Factor-alpha therapy in paediatric Crohn’s disease patients with perianal lesions: a systematic review

Carla Carnovale, Anna Maffioli, Gloria Zaffaroni, Faizan Mazhar, Vera Battini, Giulia Mosini, Marco Pozzi, Sonia Radice, Emilio Clementi, Piergiorgio Danelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α) therapy, primarily infliximab and adalimumab, are now increasingly used to induce and maintain disease remission in the pediatric perianal Crohn’s disease (CD) population, however, their optimal use has not yet been defined in the pediatric setting. Areas covered: In accordance with a published protocol (PROSPERO no. CRD42019118838), we systematically and critically evaluated all published evidence on the efficacy and safety of anti-TNF-α in children with perianal CD, in the PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane and clinicalTrials.gov databases until October, 18th, 2018. We included in our systematic review 29 articles yielding a total of 565 perianal CD patients aged between 9 months to 18 years. Expert opinion: According to low-quality evidence from small, uncontrolled and heterogeneous descriptive studies, and very few randomized controlled trial, nearly three-fifths children with perianal CD achieved remission with anti-TNF-α treatment and in approximately 40% remission was maintained after 12 months, with practically low discontinuation rate due to serious adverse events. More than half of the patients achieved complete fistula closure. There is still a need for more robust evidence adequately assessing the efficacy and safety of anti-TNF-α therapy in pediatric perianal CD, as well as in comparison with other therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020



  • Biologic drugs
  • Crohn’s disease
  • drug safety
  • pediatrics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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