Rituximab shows promise in refractory lupus erythematosus pa
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Rituximab may be a promising option for treatment-refractory childhood-onset lupus erythematosus panniculitis, according to a retrospective, observational case series published in JAMA Dermatology

“Childhood-onset lupus erythematosus panniculitis (LEP) is a rare and disfiguring skin disease affecting children. There are no standard approaches to treatment,” Colleen K. Correll, MD, MPH,“We have found that treatment with rituximab, an intravenous medication that targets B cells, successfully treated patients in our clinic who had failed other treatment medications.”

Researchers conducted a retrospective case series study of four patients with childhood-onset LEP from the University of Minnesota pediatric dermatology and rheumatology clinics

Resolution of LEP after treatment with rituximab may imply an antibody-mediated role in the disease.Results showed that patient one had complete resolution of all skin nodules 6 weeks after treatment with rituximab, patient two had resolution of all nodules after treatment with rituximab 8 weeks after treatment, and patient three had resolution of facial nodules and improvement in lipoatrophy after follow-up at 1 month. Patient four had two minor reactions during the first administration of rituximab but tolerated the second administration well. Resolution of erythema, nodules and alopecia was found 6 months after treatment, but lipoatrophy remained.

“A major problem with researching LEP and many other pediatric autoimmune diseases is that these diseases are very rare. It becomes a challenge to effectively study the causes and best treatments of these rare diseases when clinicians, researchers and institutions treat only a small number of these patients,” Correll said. “In order to establish the most effective studies, we often need larger populations of patients. To do this, we must collaborate with centers across the country and internationally.” – by Erin T. Welsh

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