Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome and rituximab: may we predict circulating B lymphocytes recovery?
Rituximab (RTX) has been shown to be an efficient treatment for steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome (SDNS). A long B cell depletion period seems to improve the duration of remission. This study reports the duration of B cell depletion after each RTX infusion in patients with nephrotic syndrome.
We retrospectively report the data of 22 patients with a diagnosis of a SDNS or steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) and a treatment with RTX in a single center. B cell depletion duration was compared to the first B cell depletion duration and to the previous B cell depletion duration in each patient.
Twenty-two patients (5 girls) were included. Seventy-six periods of B cell depletions were compared to the first B cell depletion duration and to the preceding B cell depletion duration in the same patient. Total duration of B cell depletion was 26 (6–66) months. Individual post-RTX infusion B cell depletion duration was 5.1 (1.6–14) months. Median B cell depletion duration following the first RTX cure for children who had received 1 to 2 infusions at first cure was not statistically different of those who had received 3 to 4 infusions (p = 0.18). Comparing the B cell depletion induced by previous RTX courses and the following B cell depletion, 89.5% of patients had a similar duration within an open interval from 2 months.
Once the individual time interval until B cell recovery is determined, monitoring could be individualized by targeting the expected date of B cell recovery or by performing pre-emptive RTX injections.
KeywordsNephrotic syndrome Rituximab Children B cell depletion
Compliance with ethical standards
The study complies with the Helsinki Declaration and was approved by the local institutional ethics committee.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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