HealthDay News — For women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), continuation of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) after 24 weeks of pregnancy seems beneficial in terms of IBD activity and prematurity, according to a study published online September 27 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Antoine Meyer, MD, PhD, from the Hôpital Bicêtre & Universite Paris-Saclay, and colleagues examined the benefits and risks of anti-TNF continuation after 24 weeks of pregnancy among women with IBD and their offspring using data from a nationwide population-based study. Data were included from 5293 pregnancies: anti-TNF treatment was discontinued before 24 weeks and was continued beyond 24 weeks for 2890 and 2403, respectively.

The researchers found that anti-TNF continuation was associated with reduced frequencies of maternal IBD relapse (35.8 vs 39.0%) and with prematurity (7.6 vs 8.9%). For stillbirths, small weight-for-gestational-age births, and serious infections in offspring, there were no differences observed according to anti-TNF discontinuation.

“Continuation of anti-TNF after 24 weeks of pregnancy appears beneficial regarding IBD activity and prematurity, while not affecting neonatal outcomes and serious infections in the offspring,” the authors write. “These results provide strong evidence supporting the recommendation of maintaining anti-TNF throughout pregnancy in women with IBD.”

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)