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Thursday 01 December 2005

Chronic peripheral neuropathy responsive to rituximab.

By: Kelly JJ.

Rev Neurol Dis 2006 Spring;3(2):78-81

A 73-year-old man was referred for evaluation of unsteady gait and numbness of the feet. His symptoms had progressed over the previous 3 years from numbness and tingling in his left lateral thigh to a gait imbalance severe enough to necessitate crutches for ambulation. After a thorough neurological work-up, including an electromyogram that was markedly abnormal, and extensive testing for anti-nerve antibodies, a diagnosis of neuropathy, secondary to monoclonal IgM antibodies against myelin-associated glycoprotein, was made. Aggressive treatment was deemed necessary; however, none of the standard options, including intravenous immunoglobulin, prednisone, and cytotoxic drugs, seemed suitable given his underlying health and the severity of his deficit. A course of rituximab 375 mg/m2 weekly for 4 weeks was recommended for the patient. Shortly after the treatment was completed, he began to notice a slow and steady improvement. Within 3 months his gait had improved to the point where he no longer required crutches or a cane and he was able to return to work.

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