Rituximab is not a "magic drug" in post-transplant recurrence of nephrotic syndrome.

Research paper by Ryszard R Grenda, Wioletta W Jarmużek, Jacek J Rubik, Barbara B Piątosa, Sylwester S Prokurat

Indexed on: 02 Jul '16Published on: 02 Jul '16Published in: European Journal of Pediatrics


Pediatric patients with end-stage renal failure due to severe drug-resistant nephrotic syndrome are at risk of rapid recurrence after renal transplantation. Treatment options include plasmapheresis, high-dose of cyclosporine A/methylprednisolone and more recently-rituximab (anti-B CD20 monoclonal depleting antibody). We report five patients with immediate (1-2 days) post-transplant recurrence of nephrotic syndrome, treated with this kind of combined therapy including 2-4 weekly doses of 375 mg/m(2) of rituximab. Only two (of five) patients have showed full long-term remission, while the partial remission was seen in two cases, and no clinical effect at all was achieved in one patient. The correlation between B CD19 cells depletion and clinical effect was present in two cases only. Severe adverse events were present in two patients, including one fatal rituximab-related acute lung injury.The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody may be not effective in all pediatric cases of rapid post-transplant recurrence of nephrotic syndrome, and benefit/risk ratio must be carefully balanced on individual basis before taking the decision to use this protocol.• nephrotic syndrome may recur immediately after renal transplantation • plasmapheresis combined with pharmacotherapy is used as rescue management • rituximab was reported as effective drug both in primary and post-transplant nephrotic syndrome What is New: • rituximab may not be effective is several cases of post-transplant nephrotic syndrome due to variety of underlying mechanisms of the disease, which may be or not be responsive to this drug • there may be no correlation between drug-induced depletion of specific B cells and clinical effect; this might suggest B-cell independent manner of rituximab action.