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Rituximab Serious Infection Risk Predicted by Immunoglobulin Levels

Key clinical point: Immunoglobulin should be monitored at baseline and before each rituximab cycle to identify patients at risk of serious infection events (SIEs).

Major finding: SIE rates per 100 patient-years were 16.4 and 21.3 in patients with low (less than 6 g/L) IgG at baseline and during rituximab cycles versus 9.7 for patients with normal (6–16 g/L) IgG levels.

Study details: A retrospective, single-center, longitudinal study involving 700 rituximab-treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

Disclosures: The research was supported by Octapharma, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and NIHR Leeds Biomedical Research Centre based at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the United Kingdom. Dr. Md Yusof had no conflicts of interest. Several coauthors disclosed financial ties to multiple pharmaceutical companies, including Roche.


Md Yusof MY et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019 May 27. doi: 10.1002/art.40937.