Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Risk of neutropenia in inflammatory bowel disease patients treated with TNF inhibitors: A single-center, retrospective cohort study


1 Department of Medicine, King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Royal Commission Hospital, Jubail, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Eman Al Sulais,
Department of Medicine, Royal Commission Hospital-Jubail, P.O Box 496, Qatif 31911
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjg.SJG_41_20

PMID: 32496224

Background/Aim: Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) have become the mainstay of treatment in moderate-to-severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Neutropenia has been reported in patients receiving TNFi for IBD and other diseases. In this study, we aimed to ascertain the relationship between the use of TNFi and the development of neutropenia in patients with IBD. Patients and Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study including all adult patients with IBD receiving TNFi at a tertiary care center over an 11-year period. The primary outcome was the development of any neutropenic episode after starting a TNFi. For our secondary outcomes, we evaluated the impact of concomitant use of 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA) or an immunomodulator on the risk of developing neutropenia. Results: The final analysis included 281 patients. Of those included, 34.2% developed at least one episode of neutropenia while on a TNFi. The majority of these episodes (67.7%) were mild with ANC between 1000 and 1500/mm3. No significant difference was observed in the age, gender, agent used or type of IBD between those who developed neutropenia and those who did not. Concomitant use of azathioprine (OR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.26–4.28; P = 0.007) or 5-ASA (OR = 3.15, 95% CI: 1.55–6.39; P = 0.001) were significant independent predictors of developing neutropenia. Conclusions: In this study, mild neutropenia was common among patients with IBD on TNFi. Future prospective studies are required to further clarify the significance of neutropenia in patients with IBD receiving TNFi.


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    -  AlAskar D
    -  AlSardi M
    -  Al Sulais E
    -  Mosli M
    -  AlAmeel T
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