Infliximab therapy in pulmonary fibrosis associated with collagen vascular disease

K.M. Antoniou, M. Mamoulaki, K. Malagari, H.D. Kritikos, D. Bouros, N.M. Siafakas, D.T. Boumpas

Department of Thoracic Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Allergy, University Hospital, Medical School, University of Crete, Heraklion, Greece

2007 Vol.25, N°1 - PI 0023, PF 0028
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Rheumatology Article



To study the potential effectiveness of tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-α) inhibitor treatment for pulmonary fibrosis associated with a collagen vascular disease, CVD (rheumatoid arthritis, RA and systemic sclerosis, SSc) refractory to conventional treatment.
Four patients (three men with RA, one woman with SSc) were treated with infliximab. All patients received 3mg/kgr of infliximab at intervals 0, 2 and 6 weeks, and then maintenance infusions every 8 weeks afterwards for at least a 12-month period. Patients had active disease despite treatment with corticosteroids and other immunomodulatory agents.
Treatment was well-tolerated from all patients. Pulmonary fibrosis remained stable during treatment in terms of symptoms, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and High resolution computed tomography (HRCT) appearance. As expected, a clinical response was observed in joint symptoms in patients with RA as evaluated by the DAS28 (Disease Activity Score, the 28 joint version).
This study suggests that inhibition of TNF-α with infliximab may stabilize the progression of pulmonary fibrosis associated with CVD. Prospective, controlled trials are necessary to determine the efficacy of infliximab in pulmonary fibrosis associated CVD.

PMID: 17417986 [PubMed]