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Rituximab Does Not Improve Fatigue Symptoms of ME/CFS

Key clinical point: After 12 months of infusions with rituximab to induce B-cell depletion, patients with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) did not show improved fatigue score symptoms, compared with placebo.

Major finding: The response rate from the placebo group was 35%, compared with 26% in the rituximab group, and there were no differences in fatigue scores over 24 months.

Study details: A phase 3 trial of 151 patients with ME/CFS who were aged 18-65 years with a minimum disease duration of 2 years and were treated with rituximab or placebo for 12 months.

Disclosures: The trial was funded by grants to the researchers from the Norwegian Research Council, the Norwegian Regional Health Trusts, the MEandYou Foundation, the Norwegian ME Association, and the legacy of Torstein Hereid.

Citation:

Fluge Ø et al. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Apr 1. doi: 10.7326/M18-1451