Low-dose azathioprine is effective in maintaining remission among Chinese patients with Crohn's disease

Jianghong Wu, Yan Gao, Chuanhua Yang, Xueqing Yang, Xuhang Li, Shudong Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Azathiopurine (AZA) is efficacious for maintenance remission of Crohn's disease (CD) at the standard dose of 2.0-2.5 mg/kg for Caucasian. It has been reported that the lower dose (1.0-2.0 mg/kg) in some Asian countries was as effective as the standard dose. In the present study we analyzed the efficacy of <1.0 mg/kg AZA in maintaining remission for Chinese patients.Methods: The clinical data of all CD patients were reviewed from 1993 to December 2012. The patients who initiated AZA treatment and were followed for ≥ 2 years with complete medical data were included. We divided the patients into two groups according to their initial dose: <1.0 mg/kg group and 1.0-2.0 mg/kg group.Results: Among 77 patients, 39 (50.6%) started treatment with <1.0 mg/kg AZA and 38 (49.4%) with 1.0-2.0 mg/kg. The mean dose of <1.0 mg/kg group remained under 1.0 mg/kg at 6, 12 and 24 months, even if the doses were adjusted according to efficacy and tolerance. The remission rate in patients of <1.0 mg/kg group was significantly higher than that in those of 1.0-2.0 mg/kg group (P = 0.025). A dose of <1.0 mg/kg AZA was more commonly associated with male gender, older age, heavier body weight and L1 location. Adverse events were observed in 21 of 77 patients (27.3%) and no significant difference in occurrence of adverse events or leucopenia between two groups.Conclusions: <1.0 mg/kg AZA was effective as 1.0-2.0 mg/kg in maintaining remission among Chinese patients with CD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number235
JournalJournal of translational medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 27 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • <1.0 mg/kg azathiopurine
  • Chinese patients
  • Crohn's disease
  • Maintain remission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Low-dose azathioprine is effective in maintaining remission among Chinese patients with Crohn's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this