Immune-mediated, acquired pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a rare disorder frequently associated with other autoimmune phenomena. Conventional immunosuppressive treatment is often unsatisfactory. Rituximab is a monoclonal antibody against the CD20 antigen, highly effective for in vivo B-cell depletion. An 18-month-old girl with both severe PRCA and autoimmune hemolytic anemia, refractory to immunosuppressive treatment, received 2 doses of rituximab, 375 mg/m 2 per week. The drug was well tolerated. After anti-CD20 therapy, substitutive treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin was started. The treatment resulted in marked depletion of B cells; a striking rise in reticulocyte count ensued, with increasing hemoglobin levels, finally leading to transfusion independence. The child is now 5 months off-therapy, with normal hemoglobin and reticulocyte levels. This case suggests a role of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody for treatment of patients with antibody-mediated hematologic disorders.
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