The metabolic response to ulcerative colitis, including increased proteolysis and lipolysis
and changes in energy expenditure, plays a significant role in the resulting malnutrition
from which these patients suffer. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a
pro-inflammatory cytokine, has been found to be elevated in children with ulcerative
colitis. TNF-alpha has been incriminated in the mechanism of weight loss in many different
chronic diseases, and causes net protein and lipid catabolism. Anti-TNF-alpha antibody
(infliximab) has been proven to be an effective therapy for ulcerative colitis.
The purpose of this study is to determine changes in protein and lipid metabolism, as well
as resting energy expenditure, before and after therapy with anti-TNF-alpha antibody
(infliximab) in children with ulcerative colitis. Performing this study will better define
the changes in nutrition status observed in these children following remission of active
ulcerative colitis, and potentially lead to changes in medical and nutritional management of
- Male and female children between the ages of six and eighteen years of age
- Endoscopic or histologic evidence of ulcerative colitis
- Active ulcerative colitis determined by primary pediatric gastroenterologist to
require anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha antibody (infliximab) therapy
- Colitis symptom score ≥2
- Screening laboratory tests that meet the following criteria (obtained within 4 weeks
1. Hemoglobin >8.0 g/dL
2. White blood cell count >3.5 x 109/L
3. Neutrophils >1.5 x 109/L
4. Platelets >100 x 109/L
5. Aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase
levels within 3 times the upper limit of normal.
6. PPD skin test with skin induration <5 mm.
7. Signed written consent from the parent/legal guardian and assent from the child
to be obtained prior to enrollment.
- Female subjects who are pregnant, nursing, or planning pregnancy.
- Concomitant diagnosis or history of congestive heart failure.
- Serious infection in the 3 months prior to enrollment.
- History of prior or current active or latent tuberculosis.
- Immune deficiency syndrome, including documented human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
- History of systemic lupus erythematosus.
- A transplanted organ.
- Known malignancy or history of malignancy within 5 years of enrollment.
- History of demyelinating disease.
- History of substance abuse.
- History of diabetes mellitus.
- Poor tolerability of venipuncture or lack of venous access during the study period.
- A live virus vaccination within 3 months of enrollment.
- Prior history of infliximab infusion or any other therapeutic agent targeted at
reducing tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha).
- Hypersensitivity to any murine proteins or other component of the product.
- Inability to comply with study procedures