Use of rituximab as a treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus: retrospective review
To report the experience in three Brazilian institutions with the use of rituximab in patients with different clinical forms of lupus erythematosus systemic in activity.
: The study consisted of a sample of 17 patients with LES, who were already being treated, but that at some stage of the disease showed refractory symptoms. The patients were subdivided into groups according to the clinical manifestation, and the responses for the use of rituximab were rated as complete, partial or no response. Data were collected through a spreadsheet, and used specific parameters for each group. The treatment was carried on by using therapeutic dose of 1g, and repeating the infusion within an interval of 15 days.
: The clinical responses to rituximab of the group only hematological and of the group only osteoarticular were complete in all cases. In the renal group there was a clinical complete response, two partial and one absent. In the renal and hematological group complete response, there was one death and a missing response. The pulmonary group presented a complete response and two partial.
: The present study demonstrated that rituximab can bring benefits to patients with lupus erythematosus systemic, with good tolerability and mild side effects; it presented, however, variable response according to the system affected.