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Assessment of Treatment of Refractory Granuloma Faciale With Intralesional Rituximab.

JAMA Dermatology 2018 November 2
Importance: Granuloma faciale (GF) is a rare, benign inflammatory dermatosis of unknown cause. Some reports have suggested that it could be part of the spectrum of IgG4-related sclerosing diseases. Granuloma faciale is characterized by single or multiple red-brown nodules, most frequently occurring on the face, and it can produce severe disfigurement. Treatment is difficult, and poor outcomes are often seen. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody against CD-20 approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of some autoimmune and tumoral diseases.

Objective: To evaluate the treatment of refractory GF with intralesional rituximab.

Design, Setting, and Participants: In this case series, 3 patients with biopsy-proved refractory GF who underwent treatment at a dermatology outpatient clinic of a tertiary referral hospital were evaluated. The study was conducted from August 2015 to December 2017.

Interventions: Doses of 0.5 to 1 mL/cm2 of intralesional rituximab, 10 mg/mL, were administered monthly for 6 months and thereafter depending on clinical response. In 2 patients, peripheral blood B-cell counts were monitored before and during treatment, and in 1 patient, only during treatment.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Reduction in size of the lesions, ultrasonography evaluation, subjective improvement, and adverse events were monitored throughout the course of therapy.

Results: All 3 of the patients were men (ages from 30s to 60s). They showed a significant reduction in the size and thickness of GF both clinically and on ultrasonography evaluation. Two patients had a complete response and the third, a partial response. A reduction in peripheral blood B-cell count was observed in the 3 patients, suggesting that the action of rituximab could be systemic. No severe adverse reactions were reported.

Conclusions and Relevance: Intralesional rituximab may represent a novel and well-tolerated therapy for refractory GF.

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