ISSN 2147-9720 | E-ISSN 2148-4279
Original Article
Rituximab levels are associated with the B cell homeostasis but not with the clinical response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
1 Department of Rheumatology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain  
2 Department of Immunology, IIB‐Institut de Recerca de l’Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain  
3 Department of Rheumatology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain; Department of Rheumatology, Colmédica, Bogota, Spain  
4 Departament of Internal Medicine, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain  
Eur J Rheumatol 2019; 6: 81-84
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2019.18109
Key Words: Rheumatoid arthritis, Rituximab, B cells
Abstract

Objective: To study the levels of rituximab (RTX) and anti-RTX antibodies (ARAs) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) at 30, 90, and 180 days after the first infusion, in relation to clinical and serological parameters and B cell homeostasis.

 

Methods: Thirty-four patients with RA who failed to respond to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy received RTX. At baseline, 4, 12, and 24 weeks after the first infusion of RTX, we performed a clinical assessment and determined the levels of RTX, ARAs, B cells, rheumatoid factors, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies, immunoglobulins, and complements.

 

Results: RTX levels varied widely among patients. No ARAs were detected during the follow-up. Patients with lower levels of RTX presented with higher decreases in erythrocyte sedimentation rate, immunoglobulins, and complement 6 months after the first infusion. Patients with higher levels of RTX showed a higher B cell depletion at 90 days but an earlier B cell recovery than those with lower levels of RTX. No differences in clinical response were observed between the two groups at 6 months after starting the treatment.

 

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that RTX levels in the serum of patients with RA are related to B cell homeostasis and the severity of immunological parameters but not to the clinical response at 6 months.

 

Cite this article as: Díaz‐Torné C, Ortiz MA, Sarmiento M, Díaz‐López C, Corominas H, Casademont J, Vidal S. Rituximab levels are associated with the B cell homeostasis but not with the clinical response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Eur J Rheumatol 2019; 6(2): 78-81.

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