The clinical efficacy of azathioprine as maintenance treatment for autoimmune pancreatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Yoshiharu Masaki, Hiroshi Nakase, Yoshihisa Tsuji, Masanori Nojima, Kyoko Shimizu, Nobumasa Mizuno, Tsukasa Ikeura, Kazushige Uchida, Akio Ido, Yuzo Kodama, Hiroshi Seno, Kazuichi Okazaki, Seiji Nakamura, Atsushi Masamune

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

The effectiveness of azathioprine (AZA) in preventing relapse and maintaining autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) remission has been reported; however, most of these studies are case series with no randomized control trials available in the literature. Therefore, this study performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the existing literature on this subject to determine the clinical efficacy of AZA as maintenance therapy for AIP patients. A systematic search was performed to identify studies on the clinical efficacy of AZA as maintenance therapy in AIP patients. The crude multiple relapse rate was estimated to assess the ability of AZA to control relapses in AIP. Pooled estimates were obtained using a random-effects model with the DerSimonian-Laird method. We identified AIP patients who did not respond to initial steroid treatment, experienced steroid weaning failure, or those who relapsed during remission as refractory cases. After reviewing the studies, ten articles fulfilled the inclusion criteria and were selected for meta-analysis. Of all 4504 patients, 3534 patients were treated with steroids, and 346 patients were treated with AZA for relapsed AIP. In this meta-analysis, 14/73 (19.2%) patients receiving AZA for refractory AIP relapsed. Meanwhile, 14/47 (29.8%) patients without AZA experienced relapse. The integrated odds ratio for relapse risk in patients receiving AZA was estimated to be 0.52 (p = 0.15). This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated the efficacy of AZA in preventing relapse of AIP, which supports the use of AZA as a maintenance treatment in patients with AIP who relapse upon withdrawal of steroid therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)869-880
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of gastroenterology
Volume56
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Oct

Keywords

  • AZA
  • Autoimmune pancreatitis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Relapse
  • Steroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The clinical efficacy of azathioprine as maintenance treatment for autoimmune pancreatitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this