Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Systematic review with network meta-analysis: the efficacy of anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha agents for the treatment of ulcerative colitis.

Stidham RW, Lee TC, Higgins PD, Deshpande AR, Sussman DA, Singal AG, Elmunzer BJ, Saini SD, Vijan S, Waljee AK. Systematic review with network meta-analysis: the efficacy of anti-tumour necrosis factor-alpha agents for the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. 2014 Apr 1; 39(7):660-71.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


BACKGROUND: Antibodies against tumour necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNF) are effective therapies in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (UC), but their comparative efficacy is unknown. AIM: To perform a network meta-analysis comparing the efficacy of anti-TNF agents in UC. METHODS: After screening 506 studies, reviewers extracted information on seven studies. Traditional meta-analysis (TMA) was used to compare each anti-TNF agent to placebo. Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) was performed to compare the effects of anti-TNF agents to placebo. In addition, sample sizes for comparative efficacy trials were calculated. RESULTS: Compared to placebo, TMA revealed that anti-TNF agents result in a higher likelihood of induction of remission and response (RR: 2.45, 95% CI: 1.72-3.47 and RR: 1.65, 95% CI: 1.37-1.99 respectively) as well as maintenance of remission and response (RR: 2.00, 95% CI: 1.52-2.62 and RR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.46-2.14 respectively). Individually, infliximab, adalimumab and goliumumab resulted in a higher likelihood of induction and maintenance for both remission and response. NMA found nonsignificant trends in comparisons of the individual agents. The required sample sizes for direct head-to-head trials between infliximab and adalimumab for induction and maintenance are 174 and 204 subjects respectively. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that, compared to placebo, infliximab, adalimumab and golimumab are all effective for the induction and maintenance of remission in ulcerative colitis. However, network meta-analysis demonstrates that no single agent is clinically superior to the others and therefore, other factors such as cost, safety, route of administration and patient preference should dictate our choice of anti-TNF agents. A randomised comparative efficacy trial between infliximab and adalimumab in UC is of practical size and should be performed.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.