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Infectious complications of a rituximab-based immunosuppressive regimen in patients with glomerular disease

Abstract : Background - Recent years have seen increasing use of rituximab (RTX) for various types of primary and secondary glomerulopathies. However, there are no studies that specifically address the risk of infection related to this agent in patients with these conditions. Methods - We reviewed the outcomes of all patients who received RTX therapy for glomerular disease between June 2000 and October 2011 in eight French nephrology departments. Each case was analysed for survival, cause of death if a non-survivor and/or the presence of infectious complications, including severe or opportunistic infection occurring within the 12 months following RTX infusion. Results - Among 98 patients treated with RTX, 25 presented with at least one infection. We report an infection rate of 21.6 per 100 patient-years. Five patients died within 12 months following an RTX infusion, of whom four also presented with an infection. The median interval between the last RTX infusion and the first infectious episode was 2.1 months (interquartile range 0.5-5.1). Most infections were bacterial (79%) and pneumonia was the most frequent infection reported (27%). The presence of diabetes mellitus (P = 0.006), the cumulative RTX dose (P = 0.01) and the concomitant use of azathioprine (P = 0.03) were identified as independent risk factors. Renal failure was significantly associated with an increased infection risk by bivariate analysis (P = 0.03) and was almost significant by multivariate analysis (P = 0.05). Nephrotic syndrome did not further increase the risk of infection and/or death. Conclusion - The risk of infection after RTX-based immunosuppression among patients with glomerulopathy must be considered and patients should receive close monitoring and appropriate infection prophylaxis, especially in those with diabetes and high-dose RTX regimens.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 3:40:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 11:18:27 AM
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Claire Trivin, Antoine Tran, Bruno Moulin, Gabriel Choukroun, Philippe Gatault, et al.. Infectious complications of a rituximab-based immunosuppressive regimen in patients with glomerular disease. Clinical Kidney Journal, Oxford University Press, 2017, 10 (4), pp.461-469. ⟨10.1093/ckj/sfw101⟩. ⟨hal-01579508⟩

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