DOI: 10.3390/jcm13061539 ISSN: 2077-0383

Association between Ustekinumab Trough Levels, Serum IL-22, and Oncostatin M Levels and Clinical and Biochemical Outcomes in Patients with Crohn’s Disease

Luisa Bertin, Brigida Barberio, Alessandro Gubbiotti, Lorenzo Bertani, Francesco Costa, Linda Ceccarelli, Pierfrancesco Visaggi, Giorgia Bodini, Andrea Pasta, Renato Sablich, Maria Teresa Urbano, Antonio Ferronato, Andrea Buda, Manuela De Bona, Giulio Del Corso, Alessandro Massano, Imerio Angriman, Marco Scarpa, Fabiana Zingone, Edoardo Vincenzo Savarino
  • General Medicine

Background: Ustekinumab (UST) has demonstrated effectiveness in treating patients with Crohn’s disease. Monitoring treatment response can improve disease management and reduce healthcare costs. We investigated whether UST trough levels (TLs), serum IL22, and Oncostatin M (OSM) levels could be early indicators of non-response by analysing their correlation with clinical and biochemical outcomes in CD. Methods: Patients with CD initiating UST treatment from October 2018 to September 2020 were enrolled at six Italian centres for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Clinical and biochemical data were collected at four time points: baseline, second subcutaneous (SC) dose, fourth SC dose, and 52 weeks. TLs were measured during maintenance, at the second SC dose, and at the fourth SC dose. IL-22 and OSM serum levels were assessed at baseline and the second SC dose. We analysed whether TLs, IL22 levels, and OSM serum levels were associated with clinical response, clinical remission, biochemical remission, and endoscopic remission using the appropriate statistical tests. Results: Out of eighty-four initially enrolled patients, five were lost to follow-up, and eleven discontinued the drug before 52 weeks. At the 52-week time point, 47% achieved biochemical remission based on faecal calprotectin levels, and 61.8% achieved clinical remission. TLs at the second SC dose significantly correlated with biochemical remission at the same time point (p = 0.011). However, TLs did not correlate with clinical remission. Baseline OSM levels did not correlate with biochemical or clinical remission or response. IL22 levels notably decreased during UST therapy (p = 0.000), but its values did not correlate with biochemical or clinical remission. Conclusions: UST is an effective therapy for patients with CD. TLs measured at the second SC dose significantly correlated with biochemical remission, emphasising their potential role in treatment monitoring. Levels of OSM and IL-22, despite a significant decrease in the latter during therapy, did not exhibit correlations with clinical or biochemical outcomes in our study. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings.

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