Supratherapeutic Infliximab Levels Do Not Predict Risk of Short-term Complications in Adults with Crohn's Disease

Abhik Bhattacharya, Daniel Travis, Mark T. Osterman, James D. Lewis, Bhavana Bhagya Rao, Helen Lee, Gary R. Lichtenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: It is uncertain if higher infliximab trough levels (TLs) confer a greater risk of infectious/noninfectious complications (IC/NIC). We aimed to assess the risk of IC and NIC in patients with different TLs. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated a cohort of Crohn's disease (CD) patients treated with infliximab who underwent therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), at a tertiary inflammatory bowel disease center, between January 1, 2010, and December 1, 2019. TDM was defined as checking of infliximab trough and antibody levels within a 48-hour period before administration. Patients with a minimum of 3-month assessment pre-TDM and post-TDM were included. In the case of multiple TDMs, the highest TL was considered, and patients were distributed across 4 predefined TL groups (A: <5 µg/mL, B: 5 to 10 µg/mL, C: 10 to 15 µg/mL, and D: ≥15 µg/mL). Rates of IC and NIC during the 3-month prior and following TDM were compared across the groups. In addition, duration of exposure, in terms of months up to TDM, was collected to analyze differences in rates of IC and NIC. Results: Our study included 341 CD patients (median age: 35 y, 58% men). IC and NIC occurred in 52 (15%) and 30 (9%) patients, respectively. Rates of IC and NIC were similar across the 4 TL groups (P=0.9 and 0.7, respectively for IC and NIC). On multivariable analysis, exposure to infliximab >40 months (as determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis) was associated with decreased odds for IC (adjusted odds ratio=0.51, P=0.04), but not NIC (adjusted odds ratio=0.72, P=0.46). Conclusions: In this large CD cohort, there was no association between infliximab TL and risk of short-term IC or NIC. Interestingly, a shorter duration of exposure predicted higher rates of IC. This supports the safety of targeting higher infliximab TLs when necessary and greater vigilance during the early stages of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-73
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2023


  • Crohn's disease
  • complications
  • infliximab
  • therapeutic drug monitoring


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