Rituximab is an agent with a variety of immunologic effects mediated thorugh its effects on B-lymphocytes. Unfortunately, there is no effective therapy for severe interstitial lung disease associated with connective tissue disease (CTD-ILD), progressing despite maximal conventional immunosuppression. Two observational studies, one with 8 and one with 15 patients revealed conflicting results. One very small prospective study with 8 patients who received rituximab and six who had not had been performed and revealed encouraging results(Daoussius et al). These remain preliminary findings and more research clearly is required.
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Severe interstitial lung disease in connective tissue disease: rituximab as rescue therapy.
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Lafyatis R, Kissin E, York M, Farina G, Viger K, Fritzler MJ, Merkel PA, Simms RW
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