Background and Aims: Objective monitoring and effective early treatment using a treat-to-target approach are key to improving therapeutic outcomes in IBD patients. This study aimed to assess adherence to objective monitoring (clinical, biomarkers, and endoscopy) and its impact on clinical outcomes.

Methods: A prospective, multicenter study included consecutive IBD patients starting on adalimumab therapy between January 2019 and December 2020. Disease activity, assessed by the Harvey-Bradshaw index (HBI), partial Mayo, C-reactive protein (CRP), fecal calprotectin (FCAL), and endoscopy were evaluated at adalimumab initiation and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Therapeutic drug monitoring, changes in treatment, drug sustainability, and clinical outcomes were assessed.

Results: 104 IBD patients were enrolled (78.8% CD, median age 34.3 years, disease duration 9 years). During the 12 months follow-up, high adherence to clinical activity assessment was observed in both CD (81.3%- 87.7%) and UC patients (76.5-90.9%). CRP measurement decreased over time in both CD (37.3%-54.9%) and UC (29.4%-50.0%). The adherence to serial FCAL monitoring was low in CD (22.7-31.3%) and UC patients (17.6-56.0%). UC patients had higher adherence to early endoscopic assessment (<6 months) compared to CD patients (40.9% vs. 21.5%). Adherence to early combined clinical and biomarkers resulted in earlier dose optimization in CD and UC (log-rank<0.001), but drug sustainability was not different. The patients with early combined adherence had a significantly higher clinical remission rate at 1 year compared to non-adherence (70.2% vs. 29.8%, p=0.007) but no significant difference in UC patients.

Conclusions: The adherence to early objective monitoring with combined clinical and biomarkers assessment in IBD patients starting adalimumab therapy led to dose optimization and improved 1-year clinical remission in CD but did not change drug sustainability and clinical remission in UC.


adherence, monitoring, treat-to-target, dose optimization, adalimumab, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, fecal calprotectin