Make the grade for Wegener's granulomatosis after kidney transplantation
ABSTRACT Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies-associated vasculitis (AAV) is a well-described cause of multiple organ involvement including rapidly progressive pauci-immune crescentic glomerulonephritis. Kidney transplantation (KTx) is considered the treatment of choice in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) due to AAV. Patient and graft survival in AAV after KTx is favourable and comparable with other non-diabetic causes of ESRD. While relapse of AAV is high in dialysis patients (up to 50%), it decreases after KTx (8.6–22.2%). Yet, relapse may occur at any time after KTx and transplant involvement has been documented in at least 25 cases. Therapeutic guidelines for the management of AAV after KTx do not exist and clinical management is a controversial discussion. We present two unusual cases of young males with smouldering AAV who recently underwent KTx at our hospital. Case 1 experienced repeated relapses after KTx and was finally successfully treated with rituximab. Case 2 received rituximab pre-emptively before living kidney donation and remained free of flairs. Prompted by theses two cases, we reviewed the literature focusing on the right point of time for transplantation, risk assessment, role of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies, clinical presentation of flairs and immunosuppression in smouldering Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) and in relapse, including individualized treatment with rituximab.
- Rheumatology 06/2002; 41(5):481-3. · 4.44 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rituximab is increasingly used off label for difficult-to-treat auto-immune diseases. We reviewed the main case series or clinical studies to identify the best indications of rituximab and the situations at substantial risks for adverse events. Refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura was the main indication. However, the long term benefit-to-risk ratio of rituximab treatment before or after splenectomy is unknown. A single 375 mg/m2 infusion may be as efficacious as the classical four infusions cycle. Rituximab is the best treatment for cold agglutinin disease. In warm agglutinin auto-immune anaemia, its efficacy has essentially been reported in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients and in children. In CLL patients, lethal adverse events occurred in patients also receiving cyclophosphamide. Rituximab seems to have an interesting benefit-to-risk ratio in Wegener granulomatosis (excepted in granulomatous lesions), HCV-associated symptomatic cryoglobulinemia in patients unresponsive to anti-viral therapy, pemphigus and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Efficacy and safety data in lupus are difficult to interpret. Serum sickness disease is not exceptional in immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), lupus and sicca syndrome patients. A substantial infectious risk has been reported in pemphigus patients and in post-renal transplant cryoglobulinemia. Double-blind randomised controlled trials and phase IV studies are mandatory in most clinical settings to confirm the overall favourable perception of rituximab benefit to risk ratio.Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology 03/2008; 34(1):103-10. · 4.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We performed a retrospective evaluation of whether c-ANCA titres (indirect immunofluorescence) and anti-proteinase 3 (PR3)-ANCA levels (ELISA) at diagnosis and following immunosuppressive treatment are predictive of relapse of ANCA-associated vasculitis. Patients diagnosed with PR3-ANCA-associated vasculitis between 1991 and 2002, with at least 2 yr of follow-up, and treated with cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids only (1991-1996) or switched to azathioprine after induction of remission with cyclophosphamide and corticosteroids (1997-2002) were included. ANCA were assessed by immunofluorescence and direct PR3-specific ELISA at diagnosis and 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after diagnosis. Actuarial relapse-free survival was analysed with the log rank test. We studied 87 patients positive for PR3-ANCA: 46 were on cyclophosphamide maintenance therapy and 41 switched to azathioprine. Overall actuarial relapse-free survival was 72% at 2 yr and 34% at 5 yr. Relapse-free survival did not differ between patients on cyclophosphamide maintenance and patients switched to azathioprine maintenance (P = 0.34). Patients who became and stayed negative for c-ANCA (immunofluorescence) or PR3-ANCA (ELISA) until 24 months after diagnosis had a lower risk of relapse (P = 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively). Positive c-ANCA (immunofluorescence) titres at 3 [relative risk (RR) 2.0; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-3.8], 12 (RR 1.9; 95% CI 1.1-3.3), 18 (RR 2.9; 95% CI 1.3-4.6) and 24 months (RR 2.6; 95% CI 1.2-5.0) were significantly associated with relapse within 5 yr after diagnosis. PR3-ANCA levels >10 U/ml at 18 (RR 2.7, 95% CI 1.1-4.3) and 24 months (RR 4.6; 95% CI 1.2-6.3) were predictive of relapse within 5 yr. In the azathioprine group, a positive c-ANCA titre at the time of switching to azathioprine (RR 2.2; 95% CI 1.0-5.4) was associated with relapse. Positive c-ANCA (immunofluorescence) and PR3-ANCA (ELISA) titres during early follow-up identify patients at increased risk of relapse.Rheumatology 06/2006; 45(6):724-9. · 4.44 Impact Factor