First-line treatment with infliximab versus conventional treatment in children with newly diagnosed moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease: An open-label multicentre randomised controlled trial

Maria M. E. Jongsma, Martine A. Aardoom, Martinus A. Cozijnsen, Merel van Pieterson, Tim de Meij, Michael Groeneweg, Obbe F. Norbruis, Victorien M. Wolters, Herbert M. van Wering, Iva Hojsak, Kaija-Leena Kolho, Thalia Hummel, Janneke Stapelbroek, Cathelijne van der Feen, Patrick F. van Rheenen, Michiel P. van Wijk, Sarah T. A. Teklenburg-Roord, Marco W. J. Schreurs, Dimitris Rizopoulos, Michail DoukasJohanna C. Escher, Janneke N. Samsom, Lissy de Ridder

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55 Citations (Scopus)


In newly diagnosed paediatric patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn's disease (CD), infliximab (IFX) is initiated once exclusive enteral nutrition (EEN), corticosteroid and immunomodulator therapies have failed. We aimed to investigate whether starting first-line IFX (FL-IFX) is more effective to achieve and maintain remission than conventional treatment. Design In this multicentre open-label randomised controlled trial, untreated patients with a new diagnosis of CD (3-17 years old, weighted Paediatric CD Activity Index score (wPCDAI) >40) were assigned to groups that received five infusions of 5 mg/kg IFX at weeks 0, 2, 6, 14 and 22 (FL-IFX), or EEN or oral prednisolone (1 mg/kg, maximum 40 mg) (conventional). The primary outcome was clinical remission on azathioprine, defined as a wPCDAI <12.5 at week 52, without need for treatment escalation, using intention-to-treat analysis. Results 100 patients were included, 50 in the FL-IFX group and 50 in the conventional group. Four patients did not receive treatment as per protocol. At week 10, a higher proportion of patients in the FL-IFX group than in the conventional group achieved clinical (59% vs 34%, respectively, p=0.021) and endoscopic remission (59% vs 17%, respectively, p=0.001). At week 52, the proportion of patients in clinical remission was not significantly different (p=0.421). However, 19/46 (41%) patients in the FL-IFX group were in clinical remission on azathioprine monotherapy without need for treatment escalation vs 7/48 (15%) in the conventional group (p=0.004). Conclusions FL-IFX was superior to conventional treatment in achieving short-term clinical and endoscopic remission, and had greater likelihood of maintaining clinical remission at week 52 on azathioprine monotherapy. Trial registration number Registry (NCT02517684).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • IBD clinical
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • infliximab
  • paediatric gastroenterology

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