P588 Steroid sparing effect of adalimumab in cortisone–depended ulcerative colitis patients

SinaDr., M.(1);Pengili, E.(1);Pemaj, X.(1);Osmanaj, D.(1);Bibolli, I.(1);Prifti, S.(1);

(1)University Hospital Center Mother Theresa, Internal Medicine/ Gastroenterology, Tirana, Albania


Corticosteroids are indicated for induction of remission in moderate to severe ulcerative colitis (UC) patients. However, due to their adverse effects associated with long-term use, steroids are not indicated as a maintenance therapy. The aim of this study was to assess the steroid sparing effect of adalimumab (ADA) in steroid-dependent UC patients.


This is a prospective study carried out at a tertiary hospital center in Albania from 2016-2020, including consecutive moderate-to-severe UC patients. All patients received biologic therapy with subcutaneous ADA 160/80mg at weeks 0/2 followed by 40mg every 2 weeks. We evaluated the steroid-sparing effect of ADA measuring the number of steroid–free patients and the average steroid dose at baseline before initiating biologic treatment and at week 8, 24, 52, 104, 156. Clinical remission was defined as total Mayo score ≤ 2 points.


We enrolled 26 UC patients, mean age 47.3 ± 16.1 (24-85) years, 55.6% were females. The average disease duration before starting ADA was 7.3 ± 7.0 years (range 1-33); 44.4% had pancolitis and 55.6% left side colitis. 8(29.6%) patients were on combination therapy with azathioprine. 17/26 (65.4%) patients were taking prednisone at the time of the first ADA injection with an average dose of 17.7mg. The number of steroid-free patients at week 8, 24, 52, 104 and 156 was 12/26 (46.2%), 16/26 (61.5%), 15/21 (71.4%), 11/14 (78.6%), 8/9 (88.9%) respectively. At the end of the follow-up (week 156), the proportion of steroid free patient was significantly higher than at baseline [88.9% (8/9) vs 34.6% (7/26), p=0.005]. The reduction of the average dose of prednisone (8.8 mg, 4 mg, 6.8mg, 3.8mg and 3,8mg at week 8, 24, 52, 104 and 156 respectively), was also statistically significant (p<0.01). Clinical remission rates were 7.7% (2/26) at week 8, 47.6% (10/21) at week 52, 42.9% (6/14) at week 104 and 44.4 % (4/9) at week 156.


In our cohort, ADA administration to moderate–to severe UC significantly reduced the steroid dose and the proportion of patients taking cortisone during  3 years follow-up.