ISSN: 2149-2247 | E-ISSN: 2149-2549
Erciyes Medical Journal Efficacy and Safety Data for Rituximab (Anti-CD20) in the Treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris: A Retrospective, Single-Center Study [Erciyes Med J]
Erciyes Med J. 2021; 43(3): 267-272 | DOI: 10.14744/etd.2020.82356

Efficacy and Safety Data for Rituximab (Anti-CD20) in the Treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris: A Retrospective, Single-Center Study

Eda Öksüm Solak1, Gözde Emel Gökçek2, Levent Çınar1, Demet Kartal1, Murat Borlu1
1Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Erciyes University Faculty of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey
2Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Bozok Universty, Yozgat, Turkey

Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab treatment in patients with pemphigus vulgaris.
Materials and Methods: Seventeen patients who received rituximab treatment with the diagnosis of pemphigus vulgaris were included in the study. Rituximab was administered according to rheumatoid arthritis protocol. The patient demographic and clinical information, disease duration, previous treatments, additional diseases, disease course after rituximab, and side effects were evaluated retrospectively by scanning patient files.
Results: The average age of patients was 49.1±12.1-years-old. In 3 (17.6%) patients, the drug regime could not be completed due to the reaction that developed during the infusion. One of the 14 patients who were treated could not be followed up due to exitus. Complete remission occurred in all 13 patients who were followed up, and the median duration of complete remission was 4.2 months (min: 2, and max: 13 months); however, 6 (45.1%) patients relapsed within an average of 11±3.7 months. Examination of the pemphigus disease area index (PDAI) scores shows that the pre-rituximab values in the 13 patients were between 12 and 65 (mean 28.6±15.9), while those in 12 patients were zero at the past follow-up, with only one patient’s PDAI value being calculated as 20. As side effects, infusion reaction in three patients, lymphopenia in five patients, herpetic keratitis in one patient, cerebritis, sepsis, and death due to intracranial hemorrhage occurred in one patient.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that rituximab treatment was effective in pemphigus vulgaris; however, it is necessary to be careful in terms of side effects such as lymphopenia and infection.

Keywords: Efficacy, pemphigus, rituximab, safety, treatment.

Eda Öksüm Solak, Gözde Emel Gökçek, Levent Çınar, Demet Kartal, Murat Borlu. Efficacy and Safety Data for Rituximab (Anti-CD20) in the Treatment of Pemphigus Vulgaris: A Retrospective, Single-Center Study. Erciyes Med J. 2021; 43(3): 267-272

Corresponding Author: Eda Öksüm Solak, Türkiye
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