Gut Liver.  2021 Jan;15(1):92-99. 10.5009/gnl19377.

Comparison of Long-term Outcomes of Infliximab versus Adalimumab in 1,488 Biologic-Naive Korean Patients with Crohn’s Disease

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Biostatistics Collaboration Unit, Department of Biomedical Systems Informatics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine and Institute of Gastroenterology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Data on the comparative effectiveness of infliximab (IFX) or adalimumab (ADA) in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) are rare, particularly for Asian patients. We compared the key clinical outcomes (surgery, hospitalization, and corticosteroid use) of use of these two drugs in biologic-naive Korean patients with CD.
Using National Health Insurance claims, we collected data on patients who were diagnosed with CD and exposed to IFX or ADA between 2010 and 2016.
We included 1,488 new users of biologics (1,000 IFX users and 488 ADA users). Over a median follow-up period of 2.1 years after starting biological therapy, no significant differences were found between IFX and ADA users in the risks for surgery (ADA vs IFX: adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.84), hospitalization (aHR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.81 to 1.28), and corticosteroid use (aHR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.56 to 1.19). These results were unchanged even when only patients who used biologics for over 6 months were analyzed (aHR [95% CI]: surgery, 1.31 [0.82 to 2.11]; hospitalization, 1.02 [0.80 to 1.30]; corticosteroid use, 0.80 [0.54 to 1.18]). Additionally, these results were unchanged in patients treated with biologics as monotherapy or in combination with immunomodulators.
In this nationwide population-based study, no significant difference was found in the long-term effectiveness of IFX and ADA in the real-world setting of biologic-naive Korean patients with CD. In the absence of trials to directly compare IFX and ADA, our study indicates that the selection of one of these two biologics can be determined by patient and/or physician preference.


Crohn disease; Infliximab; Adalimumab
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