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Saturday 01 January 2005

Rituximab for the treatment of refractory idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP): report of three cases.

By: Koulova L, Alexandrescu D, Dutcher JP, O'Boyle KP, Eapen S, Wiernik PH.

Am J Hematol 2005 Jan;78(1):49-54

Three patients (one with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura [ITP] and two with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura [TTP]) were treated with rituximab (anti-CD20 chimeric antibody) at a dose of 325 mg/m2 administered weekly after they failed standard therapies. The patient with ITP who did not respond to steroids and anti-D antibody administration achieved augmentation of her platelet counts up to 180 x 10(3)/microL after four doses of rituximab. Six months later, when her counts started to decrease, she received maintenance therapy with an additional course of 4 standard doses of antibody that resulted in consolidation of her platelet counts around 100 x 10(3)/microL. One patient with TTP and concurrent idiopathic nephropathy who was previously treated with plasmapheresis, steroids, and vincristine improved only after 4 weekly administrations of the antibody. Moreover, his nephrotic-range proteinuria resolved after he received rituximab. The other patient with chronic TTP who still relapsed after splenectomy received 5 doses of rituximab with concomitant plasmapheresis. His thrombocytopenia improved slowly, and his platelet count stabilized at 300 x 10(3)/microL. All three patients showed evidence of response to anti-CD20 antibody with improvement in clinical outcome as well as augmentation of platelet counts to normal levels. We conclude that rituximab is a useful immunomodulating adjunct in the treatment of refractory ITP and TTP.

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