Get access

Successful treatment of autoimmune hepatitis and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura with the monoclonal antibody, rituximab: case report and review of literature


Edgardo S. Santos, MD, Assistant Scientific Director, Office of Clinical Research, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-78, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.
Tel: +504 988 6352
Fax: +504 988 5483


Abstract: Rituximab, a chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody, has shown activity in several autoimmune disorders. We describe a case of a 52 years old female who was diagnosed with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and concomitant autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), both non-responsive to steroids. She was subsequently treated with rituximab, which resulted in a rapid increase in her platelet count and an unexpected normalization of her hepatic biochemical tests. Both her platelet count and her hepatic biochemical tests remained normal for over 5 months. In this case, rituximab showed an impressive clinical response for the treatment of AIH, and it may be considered as an alternative treatment in patients who do not respond to corticosteroid therapy. Prospective randomized studies in AIH are needed to validate this observation.