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Rituximab reduces the hospitalization in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus


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 Endpoints.


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.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Martínez-Pérez, R., Fernández-Nebro, A., López-Lasanta, M. et al. Rituximab reduces the hospitalization in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. J Transl Med 8 (Suppl 1), P70 (2010).

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