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J Dermatolog Treat. 2007;18(3):178-83.

Treatment of refractory pemphigus vulgaris with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab): five cases.

Author information

1
Department of Specialistic and Experimental Clinical Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy. av_antonucci@yahoo.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pemphigus vulgaris is an autoimmune disease characterized by blisters and widespread erosions, involving skin and mucous membranes, caused by autoantibodies to desmoglein 1 and 3. This pathology is associated with increased morbidity and mortality if untreated. The treatment of pemphigus vulgaris requires multiple immunosuppressive agents, but often it is particularly resistant.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab therapy in refractory pemphigus vulgaris.

METHODS:

Five patients diagnosed as having pemphigus vulgaris were treated with anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab). Each patient was treated with rituximab intravenously at a dosage of 375 mg per square metre of body surface area once weekly for 4 weeks.

RESULTS:

All the patients presented clinical resolution. No adverse effects were observed. It is important to observe the clinical evolution in the future, but our experience is still limited to a short lifetime and follow-up.

CONCLUSION:

In our experience rituximab has been an effective and safe treatment for refractory pemphigus vulgaris.

PMID:
17538808
DOI:
10.1080/09546630701286110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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