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Open-Label, Pilot Study of the Safety and Clinical Effects of Rituximab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis-Associated Interstitial Pneumonia

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DOI: 10.4236/ojra.2012.23011    4,473 Downloads   8,050 Views   Citations


Objective: To investigate the clinical effect of rituximab (RTX) in the management of progressive rheumatoid arthritis related interstitial lung disease (RA-ILD). Methods: A total of 10 patients with progressive RA-ILD were enrolled into this 48-week, open-label treatment study. Treatment was with RTX at 1000 mg at day 1, day 15, and again at weeks 24 and 26, with concomitant methotrexate therapy. Results: The study included 4 men and 6 women. Of 7 evaluable patients at week 48, the diffusing capacity to carbon monoxide had worsened by at least 15% in 1 patient, was stable in 4 patients, and increased by >15% of baseline value in 2 patients. The forced vital capacity declined by at least 10% in 1 patient, was stable in 4 patients, and increased by at least 10% in 2 patients. High resolution computed tomo-graphy of the chest showed improvement in 1 patient, and was unchanged in 5. Three patients were withdrawn, one who had an infusion reaction at week 0, one at week 5 who was hospitalized for congestive heart failure at week 5 and who later died at week 32 of complications following a traumatic hip fracture, and one died at week 6 of possible pneumonia. Conclusions: In this pilot study of 10 patients with RA-ILD treated with RTX, measures of lung disease remained stable in the majority of study completers. Further research is needed to clarify whether this treatment has a role in management of RA-ILD.

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E. Matteson, T. Bongartz, J. Ryu, C. Crowson, T. Hartman and P. Dellaripa, "Open-Label, Pilot Study of the Safety and Clinical Effects of Rituximab in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis-Associated Interstitial Pneumonia," Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 53-58. doi: 10.4236/ojra.2012.23011.


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