The Effect of Adiposity on Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Levels and Loss Of Response in Crohn’s Disease Patients

Zixiang Lim, Christopher Welman, Warren Raymond, Lena Thin

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15 Citations (Scopus)



A high body mass index is known to adversely affect antitumor necrosis factor-alpha trough levels and secondary loss of response (SLOR) in patients with Crohn's disease. We hypothesize that high levels of adiposity negatively affect these outcomes and aimed to determine if this relationship exists.


We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study of 69 patients with Crohn's disease from two tertiary inflammatory bowel disease centers between February 1, 2015, and June 30, 2018. Primary responders to infliximab (IFX) or adalimumab (ADA) who had a trough level performed within 6 months of CT or MRI scan and at least 12 months of clinical follow-up were eligible for inclusion. Body composition as measured on CT/MRI scans were correlated with trough concentration and time SLOR. Multivariate adjustments were made for established risk factors known to affect trough levels and SLOR.


Of 69 included patients, 44 (63.8%) and 25 (36.2%) patients received IFX and ADA, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that IFX trough concentrations were inversely correlated with visceral fat area (−0.02 [−0.04, −0.003], P = 0.03), visceral fat index (−0.07 [−0.12, −0.01], P = 0.02) and visceral fat: skeletal muscle area ratio (−3.81 [−7.13, −0.50], P = 0.03), but not body mass index (−0.23 [−0.52, 0.06], P = 0.11). No predictive factors were found for ADA. Increased total adipose area was associated with an increased risk of SLOR in ADA-treated patients, but not IFX-treated patients (hazard ratio = 1.01 [1.002, 1.016], P = 0.011).


Visceral adiposity is an important predictor of IFX trough levels, and high total adiposity predicts for SLOR to ADA.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00233
Pages (from-to)e00233
JournalClinical and Translational Gastroenterology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


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