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Revista Brasileira de Reumatologia
On-line version ISSN 1809-4570
SANTIAGO, Mittermayer B.; REIS, Eliana A. G.; LIMA, Isabella and REIS, Mitermayer G.. Use of rituximab for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus' thrombocytopenia: clinical efficacy and costimulatory molecules effect. Rev. Bras. Reumatol. [online]. 2006, vol.46, n.2, pp. 153-156. ISSN 1809-4570. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0482-50042006000200013.
Thrombocytopenia is not a rare complication in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Its treatment includes the use of corticosteroids, immunosuppressive drugs, intravenous immunoglobulin and, eventually, splenectomy. We describe a SLE patient with persistent thrombocytopenia despite of the use of prednisone and azathioprine that improved after infusion of rituximab (RTX). Flow cytometry analysis revealed depletion of B cells from the peripheral blood as well as a decrease in costimulatory molecules after the administration of the medication. Side effects related to the infusion were not observed. It suggests that RTX may be indicated in selected cases of SLE with thrombocytopenia of difficult control.
Keywords : Systemic lupus erythematosus; thrombocytopenia; rituximab; anti-CD20.