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Wednesday 27 March 2002

Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) therapy for acute cardiac humoral rejection: a case report.

By: Aranda JM Jr, Scornik JC, Normann SJ, Lottenberg R, Schofield RS, Pauly DF, Miles M, Hill JA, Sleasman JW, Skoda-Smith S.

Transplantation 2002 Mar 27;73(6):907-10

Humoral or antibody-mediated rejection in cardiac transplant recipients is mediated by donor-specific cytotoxic antibodies and is histologically defined by linear deposits of immunoglobulin and complement in the myocardial capillaries. Antibody-mediated rejection often is accompanied by hemodynamic compromise and is associated with reduced long-term graft survival. Standard immunosuppression, designed to target T cell immune function, is largely ineffective against this B cell-driven process. Current treatment options for humoral rejection are limited by a lack of specific anti-B cell therapies. We present the case of a 50-year-old woman with hemodynamically significant humoral rejection resistant to steroids, cyclophos-phamide, and plasmapheresis who responded to the addition of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy (rituximab). One year posttransplant, the patient is rejection-free, with normal left ventricular systolic function and coronary arteries.

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