Relationship Between Thiopurine S-Methyltransferase Genotype/Phenotype and 6-Thioguanine Nucleotide Levels in 316 Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease on 6-Thioguanine

Ahmed B. Bayoumy, Chris J. J. Mulder, Aathavan Loganayagam, Jeremy D. Sanderson, Simon Anderson, Paul J. Boekema, Luc J. J. Derijks, Azhar R. Ansari

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6 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: In inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), conventional thiopurine users cease treatment in 60% of cases within 5 years, mostly because of adverse events or nonresponse. In this study, the authors aimed to investigate the role of 6-thioguanine nucleotide (TGN) measurements, geno/phenotyping of thiopurine S-methyltransferase (TPMT), and their mutual relationship with TG therapy in IBD. METHODS: An international retrospective, multicenter cohort study was performed at 4 centers in the Netherlands (Máxima Medical Centre) and the United Kingdom (Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and East Surrey Hospital). RESULTS: Overall, 526 6-TGN measurements were performed in 316 patients with IBD. The median daily dosage of TG was 20 mg/d (range 10-40 mg/d), and the median duration of TG use was 21.1 months (SD, 28.0). In total, 129 patients (40.8%) had a known TPMT status. In the variant-type and wild-type TPMT genotype metabolism groups, median 6-TGN values were 1126 [interquartile range (IQR) 948-1562] and 467.5 pmol/8 × 10E8 red blood cells (RBCs) (IQR 334-593). A significant difference was observed between the 2 groups (P = 0.0001, t test). For TPMT phenotypes, in the slow, fast, and normal metabolism groups, the median 6-TGN values were 772.0 (IQR 459-1724), 296.0 (IQR 200-705), and 774.5 pmol/8 × 10E8 RBCs (IQR 500.5-981.5), with a significant difference observed between groups (P < 0.001, analysis of variance). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicated that TPMT measurements at TG initiation can be useful but are not necessary for daily practice. TPMT genotypes and phenotypes are both associated with significant differences in 6-TGN levels between metabolic groups. However, the advantage of TG remains that RBC 6-TGN measurements are not crucial to monitor treatments in patients with IBD because these measurements did not correlate with laboratory result abnormalities. This presents as a major advantage in countries where patients cannot access these diagnostic tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
JournalTherapeutic drug monitoring
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

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