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Lancet. 2001 Nov 3;358(9292):1511-3.

Treatment of childhood autoimmune haemolytic anaemia with rituximab.


Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia commonly has a severe course in young children, thus requiring multiple immunosuppressive treatments. Five children with refractory idiopathic autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, and one child with the disease after bone-marrow transplantation, were treated with rituximab-a monoclonal antibody against CD20. Tolerance of the treatment was good. However, circulating Bcells were absent and hypogammaglobulinaemia was seen for 9 months after treatment. All patients remained in complete remission 15-22 months after the start of rituximab therapy. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive drugs were stopped or their dose markedly reduced. We suggest that rituximab could be a valuable treatment for autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, although a long-lasting but transient B-cell deficiency develops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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