Long-term follow-up of idiopathic thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura treated with rituximab

Jens Marcus Chemnitz, Jens Uener, Michael Hallek, Christof Scheid
Annals of Hematology 2010, 89 (10): 1029-33
Rituximab may be used to treat patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) refractory to plasma exchange or recurrent disease. While initial response rates are reported to be high, long-term follow-up data of patients treated with rituximab are not available to date, however important to estimate the safety and benefit of this treatment. Twelve patients with non-familial idiopathic TTP refractory to plasma exchange or with recurrent disease treated with rituximab between 2000 and 2008 were reexamined. The median follow-up was 49.6 months, ranging from 11 to 97 months. All patients achieved initial complete remission after application of rituximab. During follow-up, nine patients remained disease-free and three patients suffered from recurrent disease. All patients with recurrent disease responded to subsequent rituximab therapy. No long-term side effects were noted during the follow-up period. In conclusion, rituximab represents an effective second-line treatment option in relapsing or refractory TTP. Still, patients need to be closely monitored for relapses with extended follow-up.

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