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Sunday 01 August 2004

Rituximab is effective for selected patients with chronic steroid-refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura.

By: Lalayanni C, Stavroyianni N, Saloum R, Tsompanakou A, Anagnostopoulos A.

Hematology 2004 Aug;9(4):287-9

We report results of Rituximab therapy in four patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) refractory to 3-8 prior therapeutic regimens. Rituximab was administered at a dose of 375 mg/m2 once weekly for 4-6 weeks. Three out of four patients achieved a complete remission (rise to platelet count above 100,000/microl). Response duration was 4, 16+, and 11+ months. Rituximab was well tolerated but one patient (a 77 year-old male) developed two serious infections, pneumonia and a hepatic abscess, at 2 and 4 months. We conclude that Rituximab is effective in patients with refractory ITP; nevertheless, careful patient selection is mandatory.

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