Review article: Risk of cardiovascular events in patients with inflammatory bowel disease receiving small molecule drugs
Pablo A. Olivera, Juan S. Lasa, Giovanni Peretto, Stephane Zuily, Silvio Danese, Laurent Peyrin-Biroulet
Published: 24 April 2023, Journal of Crohn's and Colitis
Background: In the context of an ageing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) population, cardiovascular comorbidities become particularly relevant. Novel small molecule drugs (SMDs) for the treatment of moderate-to-severe IBD have been recently approved, including Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors and sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1P) modulators. Data from rheumatoid arthritis population have raised concerns about the risk of cardiovascular events with the use of tofacitinib, which was extrapolated to other immune-mediated diseases and other JAK inhibitors. S1P receptor modulation has been associated with potential cardiovascular events, especially bradycardia and cardiac conduction abnormalities.
Aim: To review the incidence of cardiovascular events with the use of SMDs in patients with IBD and to provide practical recommendations on mitigation strategies.
Methods: Published literature was reviewed; recommendations were synthesised by experts in both cardiovascular diseases and IBD.
Results: Evidence from the IBD population does not indicate a higher risk of cardiovascular events with tofacitinib and other JAK inhibitors. The risk is higher in patients with intermediate to high cardiovascular risk. S1P modulators may be associated with a dose-dependent, first-dose effect, transient risk of conduction abnormalities (bradycardia and AV block). Screening and monitoring of cardiovascular risk factors should be done in all patients with IBD. Risk stratification for cardiovascular disease should be performed before starting treatment with SMDs.
Conclusions: Available evidence of both JAK inhibitors and S1P modulators indicates a reassuring safety profile of SMDs from the cardiovascular perspective in the overall IBD population. Efforts should be made to identify patients with IBD at a higher risk of cardiovascular events.