The approved maintenance regimens for ustekinumab in Crohn’s disease (CD) are 90 mg every 8 or 12 weeks. Some patients will partially respond to ustekinumab or will experience a secondary loss of response. It remains poorly known if these patients may benefit from shortening the interval between injections.
All patients with active CD, as defined by Harvey-Bradshaw score ≥ 4 and one objective sign of inflammation (CRP > 5 mg/L and/or fecal calprotectin > 250 µg/g and/or radiologic and/or endoscopic evidence of disease activity) who required ustekinumab dose escalation to 90mg every 4 weeks for loss of response or incomplete response to ustekinumab 90mg every 8 weeks were included in this retrospective multicenter cohort study.
One hundred patients, with a median age of 35 years (Interquartile Range (IQR), 28 – 49) and median disease duration of 12 (7 – 20) years were included. Dose intensification was performed after a median of 5.0 (2.8 – 9.0) months of ustekinumab treatment and was associated with corticosteroids and immunosuppressants in respectively 29% and 27% of cases. Short-term clinical response and clinical remission were observed in respectively 61% and 31% after a median of 2.4 (1.3 – 3.0) months. After a median follow-up of 8.2 (5.6-12.4) months, 61% of patients were still treated with ustekinumab, and 26% in steroid-free clinical remission. Among the 39 patients with colonoscopy during follow-up, 14 achieved endoscopic remission (no ulcers). At the end of follow-up, 27% of patients were hospitalized, and 19% underwent intestinal resection surgery. Adverse events were reported in 12% of patients, including five serious adverse events.
In this multicenter study, two-thirds of patients recaptured response following treatment intensification with ustekinumab 90 mg every 4 weeks.
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