Rituximab for acute plasma-refractory thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. A case report and concise review of the literature

Axel Rüfer, Doreen Brodmann, Michael Gregor, Johanna A Kremer Hovinga, Bernhard Lämmle, Walter A Wuillemin
Swiss Medical Weekly 2007 September 22, 137 (37-38): 518-24
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a rare disease which responds well to plasma exchange treatment in the majority of patients. We report on a patient with acute TTP caused by severe autoantibody-mediated ADAMTS-13 deficiency, in whom remission was not achieved by initial treatment consisting of plasma exchange (PE), plasma infusion and corticosteroids, followed by vincristine and splenectomy. In view of the ongoing activity of TTP, treatment was initiated with rituximab, a chimaeric monoclonal antibody directed against the CD 20 antigen present on B lymphocytes. The patient received 4 weekly infusions of 375 mg/m2, each administered after the daily PE session and withholding PE until 48 hours later. Three weeks after the last infusion of rituximab a complete clinical and laboratory remission of this first episode of acute refractory TTP was documented. A concise review of the literature on the role of rituximab in patients with a first episode of acute plasma-refractory TTP suggests that rituximab in that situation may produce clinical remission in a significant proportion of patients, result in a lowered plasma requirement and avoid the complications of salvage immunosuppressive therapy. The use of rituximab in acute refractory TTP appears to be safe, with no excess infectious complications. We conclude that rituximab should be considered in TTP patients with acquired ADAMTS-13 deficiency who fail to respond clinically after 7-14 days of standard treatment with daily PE and glucocorticoids.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"