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J Med Case Rep. 2009 Jul 6;3:7335. doi: 10.4076/1752-1947-3-7335.

Rituximab therapy for pure red cell aplasia due to anti-epoetin antibodies in a woman treated with epoetin-alfa: a case report.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pure red cell aplasia due to anti-epoetin antibodies is a known complication of epoetin therapy for anemia due to chronic kidney disease. This disease has not previously been well described in the setting of therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. While treatment for pure red cell aplasia due to anti-epoetin antibodies is usually with immunosuppressive therapy such as calcineurin inhibition, the safety of this treatment in chronic hepatitis C virus infection is unknown. To date, little has been published on the efficacy of rituximab on pure red cell aplasia due to anti-epoetin antibodies.

CASE PRESENTATION:

This report describes a 65-year-old Asian-American woman who developed pure red cell aplasia from high titer neutralizing anti-epoetin antibodies after epoetin-alfa therapy during ribavirin and peg-interferon treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infection. We describe the outcome of her treatment with rituximab. The reticulocyte count increased, and anti-epoetin antibody titer decreased with a loss of neutralizing activity in vitro, leading to a reduction in blood transfusions, and eventual resolution of anemia, without reactivation of hepatitis C virus.

CONCLUSION:

The diagnosis of pure red cell aplasia from anti-epoetin antibodies should be considered in patients undergoing therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus infection who develop severe anemia after administration of erythropoietin or darbepoetin. Though it is currently an off-label indication, rituximab is a therapeutic option for patients with pure red cell aplasia due to anti-epoetin antibodies.

PMID:
19830190
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2737792
Free PMC Article

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