Impact of Monitoring for Mucosal Inflammation After Biologic Initiation in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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By Oxford Academic. Berkeley N Limketkai, MD, PhD Siddharth Singh, MD Vipul Jairath, MD, PhD William J Sandborn, MD Parambir S Dulai, MD.


We assessed practice patterns for monitoring mucosal inflammation after biologic initiation and the association between monitoring approaches and development of disease-related complications for Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC).

This study used a Truven Health MarketScan (2007–2016) query for CD and UC patients initiating biologic therapy. Cumulative 24-month disease-related complications (corticosteroids, change of biologic, hospitalization, surgery) in patients undergoing proactive disease monitoring with lower endoscopy, fecal calprotectin, or cross-sectional radiographic enterography (computed tomography enterography or magnetic resonance enterography) within 6 months of biologic initiation vs no early monitoring after biologic initiation were compared. Cox proportional hazard ratios (HRs with 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) adjusted for propensity score were used.

Within the first 24 months after biologic initiation, monitoring (proactive or reactive) was performed in 56.4% of CD patients and 67.8% of UC patients, with considerable geographic variability. Early (within 6 months) proactive monitoring was endoscopy-based (87.9%), performed in 11% of CD (n = 2195/19,899) and 12.8% of UC (n = 925/7247) patients. Compared with no early monitoring, early proactive monitoring was associated with a reduction in disease-related complications for CD (adjusted HR [aHR], 0.90; 95% CI, 0.84–0.96) and UC (aHR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.78–0.97) and predominately driven by a reduction in corticosteroid use (CD: aHR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.77–0.90; UC: aHR, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.69–0.87). Results were consistent across multiple sensitivity analyses.

Early proactive monitoring of mucosal inflammation in CD and UC within 6 months of biologic initiation was associated with reduction in disease-related complications over 24 months, primarily related to reduced steroid utilization. Wide variation exists in practice patterns for monitoring of mucosal inflammation after biologic initiation.

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