Background Crohn's disease is a progressive condition, with most patients developing a penetrating or stricturing complication over time. A decade ago, treatment goals consisted of immediate symptomatic control. The introduction of anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapies, however, has changed the way patients with Crohn's disease are treated. Over 10 years of clinical data and experience have demonstrated these therapies to be highly effective in Crohn's disease. Aim To provide clinicians guidance on optimising treatment with anti-TNF therapies in Crohn's disease by introducing an evidence- and personal opinion-based treatment algorithm using infliximab initial anti-TNF therapy. Methods Scientific literature was reviewed using MEDLINE to evaluate data on clinical trials with infliximab in luminal and fistulising Crohn's disease. Results The data from several landmark infliximab trials have changed clinical practice and led to a readjustment of treatment goals in Crohn's disease, allowing patients to achieve more than just symptomatic relief including sustained steroid-free remission. Infliximab induces complete mucosal healing and reduces the rates of hospitalisation and surgery. Based on disease-related risk factors, a treatment algorithm for infliximab is delineated in favour of a rapid step-up approach in patients at high risk for a disabling course of disease. Conclusion Adopting the suggested treatment algorithm for infliximab into clinical routine is aimed to optimise outcomes for patients with Crohn's disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)