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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Rituximab reduces the hospitalization in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus

  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 2,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 3 and
  • 1
Journal of Translational Medicine20108 (Suppl 1) :P70

  • Published:


  • Arthritis
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Hospital Admission
  • Therapeutic Option


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown etiology. The evolution of the disease is unpredictable. Most patients follow a chronic course and have flare-ups or exacerbations, with a number of hospital admissions.

Hypothesis and objectives

The use of Rituximab (RTX) decrease the hospital admissions in SLE patients refractory to immunosuppressive therapy.

Material and methods

This is an observational, retrospective and multicenter study. Sequential observation was made at baseline, at 24th week and final visit. The outcome variables were: clinic improvement measured by SLEDAI, Physician’s Global Assessment (PGA) and patient hospitalization for SLE during the 24th week and final visit. Statistical analysis of the qualitative and quantitative variables was done by Chi-square and T-test/Wolcoxon, respectively.


We treated 46 patients (94% women), mean age 36.50 ± 11.47 ages, 91% Caucasians.

Monitoring: mean of 21,1±13,9 months. The main reason for use of RTX was: nephritis (24%,) arthritis (28%), thrombocytopenia (11%), neurological (13%), cutaneous (13%) and others (11%).

The most common dose used was 2x1g (87%). The median of cycles was 2 (rank 1-3). Patients treated with RTX improved SLEDAI, PGA and reduced hospital admissions (table 1).
Table 1




24th week

Final Visit

SLEDAI (0–105), median (rank)

14.5 (7.8-22.3)

4.0 (2.0–6.0)**

2.0 (0.0–4.0)**

PGA (0–3), median (rank)

2.8 (2.0–3.0)

0.0 (0.0–1.0)**

0.0 (0.0-1.0)

Hospitalization, n (%)

25 (54%)

1 (2.3%)**

2 (4%)**

**p <0,0005 respect to baseline.


RTX may be effective in SLE patients refractory to immunosuppressive therapy, as it gets to control disease activity and reduces hospital admissions. For these reasons, RTX should be considered a therapeutic option of first choice in these patients.

Authors’ Affiliations

Rheumatology Unit, Valme University Hospital, Seville, Spain
Rheumatology Unit, Malaga Civil Hospital, Malaga, Spain
Rheumatology Unit, Gregorio Marañón University Hospital, Madrid, Spain


© Martínez-Pérez et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2010

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.