Rituxan for leukocytoclastic vasculitis – pro

Two doctors working together

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2011approved Rituxan (rituximab), in combination with glucocorticoids (steroids), to treat patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), two rare disorders that cause blood vessel inflammation (vasculitis). Case reports and sereis suggest that it may also be effective in various subsets of vasculitis patients, particularly those with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)–associated vasculitis. Several patients with chronic cutaneous small-vessel vasculitis have also been treated effectively with this agent. Interestingly, one case report suggested that Rituxan itself can cause leukocytoclastic vasculitis.

Keogh KA, Ytterberg SR, Fervenza FC, Carlson KA, Schroeder DR, Specks U. Rituximab for refractory Wegener’s granulomatosis: report of a prospective, open-label pilot trial. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. Jan 15 2006;173(2):180-7. [Medline].

Chung L, Funke AA, Chakravarty EF, Callen JP, Fiorentino DF. Successful use of rituximab for cutaneous vasculitis. Arch Dermatol. Nov 2006;142(11):1407-10. [Medline].

Harper L. Recent advances to achieve remission induction in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis. Curr Opin Rheumatol. Jan 2010;22(1):37-42.

Baerlecken NT, Schmidt RE. Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia type III with leukocytoclastic vasculitis: remission by rituximab.Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Mar 7.

Kandula P, Kouides PA. Rituximab-induced leukocytoclastic vasculitis: a case report.Arch Dermatol. 2006 Feb;142(2):246-7.

 For Lay Version see

Participate in our Forums

To ask questions or participate in a discussion, please visit our Forums. You must LOGIN to participate.

Help Us Help Others

You can become a Site Sponsor. Or you may wish to support our work with a Donation.

Focused Articles For You

Lay Portal