Anti-TNFα Treatment in Children and Adolescents With Combined Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Autoimmune Liver Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and autoimmune liver disease (AILD) are closely associated, the former often dictating progression of the latter. Antibodies to tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNFα) are effective in the management of IBD, but may cause liver injury.Methods:
Retrospective review of medical records of patients with juvenile AILD who received anti-TNFα for IBD to evaluate the safety and efficacy of anti-TNFα.Results:
Eleven patients (6 boys), ages 9 to 15 years (median 13 years) were identified. Ten had ulcerative colitis and 1 Crohn disease; 2 had autoimmune hepatitis type 1 and 9 autoimmune hepatitis-sclerosing cholangitis variant. All patients were started on infliximab (IFX, 5 mg/kg) and 2 required dose increase (10 mg/kg); 3 of 11 switched to adalimumab due to allergic reaction or nonresponse. Three received adalimumab after losing response or developing antibodies to IFX. Liver function tests (LFTs) improved in 5, 1 continued to have stably abnormal LFTs and 2 maintained normal LFTs. Patients on adalimumab showed stable or improved liver function compared to pretreatment status. Six of 8 treated with a full course of IFX maintained clinical remission of IBD for 6 months to 2.5 years; of the 6 patients treated with adalimumab, 1 sustained IBD clinical remission for 24 months, 2 achieved remission only after tacrolimus addition and 3 did not respond.Conclusions:
IBD in patients with AILD can be aggressive, requiring escalation to anti-TNFα or switching to other biologics. In this series, anti-TNFα did not impair liver function and improved gut disease in most of the patients, indicating that it can be beneficial and safe.