P>Background The increasing awareness of increased risk for opportunistic infections when combining several immunosuppressant drugs led to new treatment goals for inflammatory bowel disease including limited use of steroids. Aim To conduct a systematic review to establish figures for steroid withdrawal in anti-TNF treated inflammatory bowel disease-patients. Methods Medline was searched using the search-terms Ulcerative Colitis (UC) [Mesh], Crohn Disease (CD) [Mesh], IBD [Mesh], crohn, colitis, IBD and steroid sparing, all combined with infliximab and adalimumab. We selected English-language publications that addressed the effect of anti-TNF on steroid withdrawal. Studies had to assess patients with luminal CD or UC. Numbers of patients who were able to withdraw steroids were calculated. Results Six studies could be included; five reporting on infliximab and one on adalimumab. Studies were heterogeneously designed. Overall, in the adult population, up to 38% of the patients were able to withdraw corticosteroids during infliximab therapy. In the paediatric population, up to 75% of the patients were able to withdraw corticosteroids during infliximab therapy. Conclusions Although a consensus on the definition of steroid-sparing is lacking, approximately two-thirds of the inflammatory bowel disease-patients are unable to withdraw corticosteroid treatment during anti-TNF therapy.