Recent studies have emphasized the early use of infliximab (IFX) in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Standard dosing of 5 mg/kg/dose may not be sufficient to achieve optimal clinical outcomes. The aim of our study was to compare short-term outcomes with standard dosing of IFX to higher, nonstandard dosing of IFX for induction therapy.
Retrospective study of 162 pediatric patients receiving either standard (5–6 mg/kg, n = 90) or nonstandard (>6 mg/kg, n = 72) dosing of IFX during induction was performed. Patient demographics, clinical outcomes, and laboratory data were collected. Need for dose escalation during the first 6 months, combination therapy with immunomodulators, and steroid-free progression were investigated.
Clinical remission rates between the 2 groups were significantly different, with patients receiving nonstandard dosing demonstrating higher rates (58% vs 78%; p = 0.012). Use of combination therapy with immunomodulators was significantly different between standard and nonstandard groups (80% vs 48%; p < 0.001). Numeric trend in need for IFX dose escalation in the first 6 months was seen between standard and nonstandard groups (54% vs 39%, respectively; p = 0.087). Post-induction IFX trough concentrations, rates of antibody development, drug discontinuation, and infusion reaction were similar.
Nonstandard induction dosing of IFX was associated with higher rates of clinical remission, despite similar rates of serum IFX trough concentrations. There was a numeric trend towards the standard group requiring dose escalation within the first 6 months of therapy. Patients given nonstandard dosing may achieve superior clinical outcomes compared with those on standard dosing.