BACKGROUND & AIMS: There is controversy regarding the best treatment for patients with Crohn's disease because of the lack of direct comparative trials. We compared therapies for induction and maintenance of remission in patients with Crohn's disease, based on direct and indirect evidence.
METHODS: We performed systematic reviews of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Cochrane Central databases, through June 2014. We identified randomized controlled trials (N = 39) comparing methotrexate, azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab, vedolizumab, or combined therapies with placebo or an active agent for induction and maintenance of remission in adult patients with Crohn's disease. Pairwise treatment effects were estimated through a Bayesian random-effects network meta-analysis and reported as odds ratios (OR) with a 95% credible interval (CrI).
RESULTS: Infliximab, the combination of infliximab and azathioprine (infliximab + azathioprine), adalimumab, and vedolizumab were superior to placebo for induction of remission. In pair-wise comparisons of anti-tumor necrosis factor agents, infliximab + azathioprine (OR, 3.1; 95% CrI, 1.4-7.7) and adalimumab (OR, 2.1; 95% CrI, 1.0-4.6) were superior to certolizumab for induction of remission. All treatments were superior to placebo for maintaining remission, except for the combination of infliximab and methotrexate. Adalimumab, infliximab, and infliximab + azathioprine were superior to azathioprine/6-mercaptopurine: adalimumab (OR, 2.9; 95% CrI, 1.6-5.1), infliximab (OR, 1.6; 95% CrI, 1.0-2.5), infliximab + azathioprine (OR, 3.0; 95% CrI, 1.7-5.5) for maintenance of remission. Adalimumab and infliximab + azathioprine were superior to certolizumab: adalimumab (OR, 2.5; 95% CrI, 1.4-4.6) and infliximab + azathioprine (OR, 2.6; 95% CrI, 1.3-6.0). Adalimumab was superior to vedolizumab (OR, 2.4; 95% CrI, 1.2-4.6).
CONCLUSIONS: Based on a network meta-analysis, adalimumab and infliximab + azathioprine are the most effective therapies for induction and maintenance of remission of Crohn's disease.
- Biological Products
- Crohn Disease
- Immunosuppressive Agents
- Remission Induction
- Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
- Comparative Study
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't