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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 317-321

Rituximab in the treatment of refractory late acute antibody-mediated rejection: Our initial experience

1 Department of Nephrology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Pathology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
S B Raju
Department of Nephrology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad - 500 082, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-4065.177207

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Antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) is not uncommon after renal transplantation and is harder to handle compared to cell-mediated rejection. When refractory to conventional therapies, rituximab is an attractive option. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of rituximab in refractory late acute AMR. This is a retrospective study involving nine renal transplant recipients. Four doses of rituximab were administered at weekly interval for 4 weeks, at a dose of 375 mg/m 2. The mean age of patients was 35.3 ± 7.38 years. The median period between transplantation and graft dysfunction was 30 ± 20 months. Mean serum creatinine at the time of discharge after transplantation and at the time of acute AMR diagnosis was 1.14 ± 0.19 mg/dl and 2.26 ± 0.57 mg/dl, respectively. After standard therapy, it was 2.68 ± 0.62 mg/dl. One patient died of Pseudomonas sepsis and three patients progressed to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Four biopsies showed significant plasma cell infiltrations. Mean serum creatinine among non-ESRD patients at the end of 1 year progressed from 2.3 ± 0.4 to 3.8 ± 1.2 mg/dl (P value 0.04). eGFR prior to therapy and at the end of 1 year were 34.4 ± 6.18 and 20.8 ± 7.69 ml/min (P value 0.04), respectively. Only one patient showed improvement in graft function in whom donor-specific antibody (DSA) titers showed significant improvement. Rituximab may not be effective in late acute AMR unlike in early acute AMR. Monitoring of DSA has a prognostic role in these patients and plasma cell rich rejection is associated with poor prognosis.


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Indian Journal of Nephrology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 20th Sept '07