Achieving Target Infliximab Drug Concentrations Improves Blood and Fecal Neutrophil Biomarkers in Crohn's Disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020 Sep 18;izaa241. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa241. Online ahead of print.

Ruben J Colman 1, Yi-Ting Tsai 1, Kimberly Jackson 1, Brendan M Boyle 2, Joshua D Noe 3, Jeffrey S Hyams 4, Geert R A M D'Haens 5, Johan van Limbergen 6, Michael J Rosen 1 7, Lee A Denson 1 7, Phillip Minar 1 7


Author information

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH.
  • 2Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.
  • 3Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI.
  • 4Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT.
  • 5Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 6Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Emma Children's Hospital, Amsterdam UMC, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • 7Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH.


Background: The neutrophil fecal biomarkers, calprotectin (FCP) and lactoferrin (LCT), and peripheral blood neutrophil CD64 surface receptor (nCD64) are biomarkers for mucosal inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Although FCP has been evaluated as a biomarker for mucosal healing, cut points for LCT and nCD64 are less known. We aimed to identify the cut points for LCT and nCD64 that were associated with FCP remission, with a secondary aim to evaluate the relationship between biochemical outcomes and infliximab (IFX) trough concentrations.

Methods: We analyzed FCP, LCT, and nCD64 before and after IFX induction in a pediatric Crohn's disease (CD) cohort study. Week-14 FCP biomarker remission was defined as FCP <250 µg/g, with clinical response defined as a weighted Pediatric Crohn's Disease Activity Index <12.5 or Δ>17.5 improvement. Predictive outcomes were calculated by receiver operating characteristics (ROCs).

Results: Among 56 CD patients, ROC analysis identified an infusion 4 LCT <8.06 (area under the receiver operator characteristics [AUROC], 0.934, P < 0.001) and nCD64 <6.12 (AUROC, 0.76, P = 0.02) as the ideal cut points for week-14 FCP biomarker remission. End of induction IFX-trough of >9.4 µg/mL (AUROC, 0.799, P = 0.002) and >11.5 µg/mL (AUROC, 0.835, P = 0.003) were associated with a FCP <250 and FCP <100, respectively. We found patients achieving end of induction trough >5 µg/mL had a median FCP improvement (dose 1 to dose 4) of 90% compared with a median of 35% with levels <5 µg/mL (P = 0.024) with a similar median reduction in nCD64 (48% vs 20%, P = 0.031).

Conclusions: This study establishes cut points in neutrophil stool and blood biomarkers for both biochemical remission and therapeutic trough levels following induction therapy. Further studies that evaluate pharmacodynamic biomarker targets for endoscopic and histologic healing are warranted.

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