A multi-centre retrospective study of rituximab use in the treatment of relapsed or resistant warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.
AuthorsMaung, Su W
O'Leary, Hilary M
Cahill, Mary R
AffiliationDepartment of Haematology, University Hospital Limerick, Limerick, Ireland; Department of Haematology, Tallaght Hospital (AMNCH), Dublin, Ireland.
Aged, 80 and over
Anemia, Hemolytic, Autoimmune
Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
MetadataShow full item record
CitationA multi-centre retrospective study of rituximab use in the treatment of relapsed or resistant warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia. 2013, 163 (1):118-22 Br. J. Haematol.
JournalBritish journal of haematology
AbstractThis retrospective analysis assessed the response, safety and duration of response to standard dose rituximab 375 mg/m(2) weekly for four weeks as therapy for patients with primary or secondary warm autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (WAIHA), who had failed initial treatment. Thirty-four patients received rituximab for WAIHA in seven centres in the Republic of Ireland. The overall response rate was 70·6% (24/34) with 26·5% (9/34) achieving a complete response (CR). The time to response was 1 month post-initiation of rituximab in 87·5% (21/24) and 3 months in 12·5% (3/24) of patients. The median duration of follow-up was 36 months (range 6-90 months). Of the patients who responded, 50% (12/24) relapsed during follow up with a median time to next treatment of 16·5 months (range 6-60 months). Three patients were re-treated with rituximab 375 mg/m2 weekly for four weeks at relapse and responded. There was a single episode of neutropenic sepsis. Rituximab is an effective and safe treatment for WAIHA but a significant number of patients will relapse in the first two years post treatment. Re-treatment was effective in a small number of patients, suggesting that intermittent pulse treatment or maintenance treatment may improve long-term response.