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Low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus.
Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017 May-Jun; 83(3):317-325.IJ

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Pemphigus is a chronic autoimmune blistering disease where systemic steroids and immunosuppressants are the mainstay of therapy, but long-term treatment with these agents is associated with many side effects. Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody, in low doses has shown efficacy as an adjuvant to reduce the dose of steroids.

AIM

To study the clinical efficacy and safety of low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus.

METHODS

Fifty patients with extensive pemphigus were selected, who either had recalcitrant pemphigus, were steroid dependent, had relapsed after pulse therapy, had anti-desmoglein levels >20, had contraindications to conventional treatment or wanted to avoid conventional treatment and its side effects. Two doses of rituximab (500 mg) were given 2 weeks apart and patients were regularly followed up every 2 weeks for 3 months and then monthly upto 2 years. Complete blood counts, liver function tests, renal function tests, skin biopsy, direct immunofluorescence and desmoglein levels were checked before and after rituximab administration. Pre-rituximab chest X-ray and electrocardiograph were also obtained.

RESULTS

At 3 months, 41 (82%) patients showed complete remission. Nine (18%) patients had partial remission. After 6-12 months, 20 (40% of enrolled patients) continued to be in remission and were off all systemic therapy and the remaining 19 (38%) were continuing to take low doses of steroids with or without other adjuvant immunosuppressants and 2 (4%) had to be given another 2 doses of rituximab and subsequently could be managed with low-dose steroids. Of the 9 patients in partial remission at 3 months, after 6-12 months 5 (10% of the total) were completely off treatment and went into complete remission and 4 (8%) were on additional treatment out of which 2 (4%) had to be given 2 additional doses of rituximab and were in partial remission with low-dose therapy at the end of 12 months. One patient developed urticaria as a side effect. Another developed herpes zoster.

CONCLUSION

Our results show that low-dose rituximab is a well-tolerated and beneficial adjuvant therapy in recalcitrant pemphigus which helps reduce both the severity of disease as well as the dose of steroids and immunosuppressants.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.Department of Dermatology, NHL Medical College, VS Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

28366912

Citation

Gupta, Jaya, et al. "Low-dose Rituximab as an Adjuvant Therapy in Pemphigus." Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, vol. 83, no. 3, 2017, pp. 317-325.
Gupta J, Raval RC, Shah AN, et al. Low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017;83(3):317-325.
Gupta, J., Raval, R. C., Shah, A. N., Solanki, R. B., Patel, D. D., Shah, K. B., Badheka, A. D., Shah, K. B., Aggarwal, N. K., & Ravishankar, V. (2017). Low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus. Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, 83(3), 317-325. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijdvl.IJDVL_1078_14
Gupta J, et al. Low-dose Rituximab as an Adjuvant Therapy in Pemphigus. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2017 May-Jun;83(3):317-325. PubMed PMID: 28366912.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus. AU - Gupta,Jaya, AU - Raval,Ranjan C, AU - Shah,Arti N, AU - Solanki,Rekha B, AU - Patel,Dhara D, AU - Shah,Kaksha B, AU - Badheka,Ami D, AU - Shah,Keyur B, AU - Aggarwal,Neetish K, AU - Ravishankar,Vaaruni, PY - 2017/4/4/pubmed PY - 2018/3/3/medline PY - 2017/4/4/entrez SP - 317 EP - 325 JF - Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology JO - Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol VL - 83 IS - 3 N2 - BACKGROUND: Pemphigus is a chronic autoimmune blistering disease where systemic steroids and immunosuppressants are the mainstay of therapy, but long-term treatment with these agents is associated with many side effects. Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody, in low doses has shown efficacy as an adjuvant to reduce the dose of steroids. AIM: To study the clinical efficacy and safety of low-dose rituximab as an adjuvant therapy in pemphigus. METHODS: Fifty patients with extensive pemphigus were selected, who either had recalcitrant pemphigus, were steroid dependent, had relapsed after pulse therapy, had anti-desmoglein levels >20, had contraindications to conventional treatment or wanted to avoid conventional treatment and its side effects. Two doses of rituximab (500 mg) were given 2 weeks apart and patients were regularly followed up every 2 weeks for 3 months and then monthly upto 2 years. Complete blood counts, liver function tests, renal function tests, skin biopsy, direct immunofluorescence and desmoglein levels were checked before and after rituximab administration. Pre-rituximab chest X-ray and electrocardiograph were also obtained. RESULTS: At 3 months, 41 (82%) patients showed complete remission. Nine (18%) patients had partial remission. After 6-12 months, 20 (40% of enrolled patients) continued to be in remission and were off all systemic therapy and the remaining 19 (38%) were continuing to take low doses of steroids with or without other adjuvant immunosuppressants and 2 (4%) had to be given another 2 doses of rituximab and subsequently could be managed with low-dose steroids. Of the 9 patients in partial remission at 3 months, after 6-12 months 5 (10% of the total) were completely off treatment and went into complete remission and 4 (8%) were on additional treatment out of which 2 (4%) had to be given 2 additional doses of rituximab and were in partial remission with low-dose therapy at the end of 12 months. One patient developed urticaria as a side effect. Another developed herpes zoster. CONCLUSION: Our results show that low-dose rituximab is a well-tolerated and beneficial adjuvant therapy in recalcitrant pemphigus which helps reduce both the severity of disease as well as the dose of steroids and immunosuppressants. SN - 0973-3922 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/28366912/Low_dose_rituximab_as_an_adjuvant_therapy_in_pemphigus_ L2 - http://www.ijdvl.com/article.asp?issn=0378-6323;year=2017;volume=83;issue=3;spage=317;epage=325;aulast=Gupta DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -