Vedolizumab is safe and effective in adult patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC); however, data in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are scarce. Therefore, we evaluated vedolizumab use in a cohort of Austrian paediatric patients with IBD.
Twelve patients (7 female; 7 CD; 5 UC), aged 8-17 years (median, 15 years), with severe IBD who received vedolizumab after tumour necrosis factor antagonist treatment were retrospectively analysed. Clinical activity scores, relevant laboratory parameters, and auxological measures were obtained at infusion visits.
In the CD group, 1/7 patient discontinued therapy due to a severe systemic allergic reaction; 1/7 and 2/7 patients achieved complete and partial response, respectively, at week 14; and 3/7 patients discontinued therapy due to a primary non-response or loss of response. In the UC group, complete clinical remission was achieved at weeks 2, 6, and 14 in 2/5, 1/5 and 1/5 patients respectively; partial response was observed in one patient at week 2. CD activity scores did not significantly change from baseline to week 38 (median 47.5 vs. 40 points, p=1,0), while median UC activity scores changed from 70 to 5 points (p<0,001). Substantial weight gain and increased albumin and haemoglobin levels were observed in both groups.
These results demonstrate that vedolizumab can be an effective treatment for individual paediatric patients with IBD who are unresponsive, intolerant, or experience a loss of efficacy in other therapies. However, vedolizumab appears to be more effective in paediatric UC than in paediatric CD.