To individualize timing of infliximab (IFX) treatment in children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) using a patient-managed eHealth program.Methods:
Patients with IBD, 10 to 17 years old, treated with IFX were prospectively included. Starting 4 weeks after their last infusion, patients reported a weekly symptom score and provided a stool sample for fecal calprotectin analysis. Based on symptom scores and fecal calprotectin results, the eHealth program calculated a total inflammation burden score that determined the timing of the next IFX infusion (4–12 wk after the previous infusion). Quality of Life was scored by IMPACT III. A control group was included to compare trough levels of IFX antibodies and concentrations and treatment intervals. Patients and their parents evaluated the eHealth program.Results:
There were 29 patients with IBD in the eHealth group and 21 patients with IBD in the control group. During the control period, 94 infusions were provided in the eHealth group (mean interval 9.5 wk; SD 2.3) versus 105 infusions in the control group (mean interval 6.9 wk; SD 1.4). Treatment intervals were longer in the eHealth group (P < 0.001). Quality of Life did not change during the study. Appearance of IFX antibodies did not differ between the 2 groups. Eighty percent of patients reported increased disease control and 63% (86% of parents) reported an improved knowledge of the disease.Conclusions:
Self-managed, eHealth-individualized timing of IFX treatments, with treatment intervals of 4 to 12 weeks, was accompanied by no significant development of IFX antibodies. Patients reported better control and improved knowledge of their IBD.