Short article: Adalimumab as a second-line biological therapy in children with refractory ulcerative colitis

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The role of adalimumab in medically refractory ulcerative colitis (UC) in children remains to be defined. The aim of this study was to describe 11 cases of paediatric patients who received adalimumab as a second-line anti-TNF-α treatment for paediatric UC.


A retrospective review of all patients with UC who received adalimumab between April 2008 and October 2013 at our hospital was conducted. Clinical efficacy and safety were assessed.


Eleven patients (three boys, eight girls) with a median age of 13.8 years (5.7–16.6 years) were included. All patients had been previously treated with infliximab. Six patients achieved and maintained clinical remission, with a median duration of treatment of 25 months. One patient was successfully weaned off adalimumab after 26 months of therapy. Treatment was unsuccessful in four out of 11 patients (36%) who underwent colectomy 4–13 months (median 7 months) from the first adalimumab dose. The remaining patient developed extensive rash and was switched to alternative therapy.


In this case series, our experience shows that there is a role for adalimumab as a combination therapy in a subgroup of children with refractory UC.

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