Induction therapy with tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors is highly effective for the treatment of Crohn's disease. However, there are primary nonresponders (PNR) of TNF-α inhibitors without clinical response during the induction period. In addition, there are partial responders (PR), who show some efficacy, but clinical remission is not achieved by induction therapy. To date, the definition and clinical management of PNR and PR have not been established. This report summarizes the opinions of 36 Japanese experts attending the Japan Round Table Discussion on IBD Meeting regarding how to determine PNR and PR of TNF-α inhibitors and how to manage these patients in clinical practice. PNR, who do not show any initial improvement of clinical symptoms and serum C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, require re-assessment of intestinal complications. PR can be determined either by clinical symptoms, serum CRP levels, or imaging results. PR need intensification of the treatment with TNF-α inhibitors either with or without optimization of immunomodulators. Optimization of initial TNF-α inhibitor therapy may improve long-term outcomes, but more evidence is required to improve the use of TNF-α inhibitors for the prevention and management of PNR and PR.
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