Remission of demyelinating polyneuropathy with immunoadsorption, low dose corticosteroids and anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody.
ABSTRACT Demyelinating polyneuropathy with anti-myelin associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG) antibodies is an immune mediated disorder characterized by proximal and distal symmetric weakness. Electrophysiological measurements depict features characteristic for demyelination, including prolonged distal latency, retarded conduction velocity, delayed or absent F-waves, and, rarely, partial conduction block. We report on a 65-year-old patient who was diagnosed with demyelinating polyneuropathy and anti-MAG antibodies five years before admission. Despite immunosuppressive agents and extracorporeal therapy (plasmapheresis) the disease progressed as assessed by clinical symptoms and neurological tests. Laboratory results showed an increase of serum immunoglobulin M and anti-MAG antibodies over time. Because of progressive disease we decided to treat the patient with immunoadsorption followed by application of the anti-CD20 antibody, rituximab. Six cycles of selective immunoadsorption were performed over three-weekly intervals with a repetitively used column (Globaffin); each cycle consisted of four consecutive daily treatments. Starting at cycle 4 the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab was administered with 375 mg/m(2) after immunoadsorption. The pretreatment anti-MAG antibody level of 10,000 U/mL, indicating disease activity, initially increased during treatment to a maximum of 30,559 U/mL. However, after completion of the six cycles, the anti-MAG level had decreased to 2348 U/mL; 16 months after the last immunoadsorption cycle the anti-MAG level had increased to 4134 U/mL, while the conduction velocity and compound motor action potentials remained stabile. Immunoadsorption in combination with a monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody in patients with demyelinating polyneuropathy with anti-MAG is effective and can be used an alternative treatment option in patients with progressive disease.
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ABSTRACT: Thirty-two patients with a peripheral neuropathy and paraproteinemia were tested for IgM antibodies against myelin-associated protein (MAG) and sulfatide by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Nine patients (28 %) had increased anti-sulfatide IgM antibodies and showed a chronic, slowly progressive, distally pronounced, and symmetric polyneuropathy with sensory to sensory-motor impairment, ataxia, hyporeflexia, and axonal involvement in electrophysiological studies. Ten patients (31 %) with increased anti-MAG antibodies had a similar, homogeneous polyneuropathy syndrome but presented with demyelinating features. A weak cross-reactivity between anti-MAG and anti-sulfatide antibodies was present in only three patients. In conclusion, although the two neuropathy groups clearly differed in their electrophysiological features, their clinical presentation was rather similar.Journal of Neurology 11/2000; 247(10):767-72. · 3.58 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many data point to a pathogenetic role for IgM antibodies to the myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) in the neuropathy associated with IgM monoclonal gammopathy, supporting the use of immune therapies in affected patients. Almost 50% of patients have been reported to improve with these therapies, but the effect of treatment on the long-term prognosis of the neuropathy remains unclear. We analysed the outcome of 25 of the 26 patients (mean age at entry 65 years, range 45-85 years) with neuropathy and high anti-MAG IgM, first examined by us between 1984 and 1994. By January 1999, after a mean follow-up of 8.5 years (range 2-13 years) and a mean duration of neuropathy symptoms of 11.8 years (range 3-18, >10 years in 16), 17 patients (68%) (aged 58-84 years, mean 73.4) were alive, while eight (32%) (aged 69-78 years, mean 73.1) had died 3-15 years (mean 10.6) after neuropathy onset; in none of them was death caused by the neuropathy, although in three it was possibly related to the therapy for the neuropathy. By the time of last follow-up or patients' death, 11 patients (44%) were disabled by severe hand tremor, gait ataxia or both. The disability rates at 5, 10 and 15 years from neuropathy onset were 16, 24 and 50%, respectively. Of the 19 patients treated during the follow-up for 0.5-11 years (mean 4 years) with various immune therapies, five reported a consistent and four a slight improvement in the neuropathy (total 47%) after one treatment or more, but in only one patient was improvement persistent throughout, to the end of follow-up. In 10 patients (53%), severe adverse events, possibly related to therapy, occurred during treatment and were considered responsible for the patient's death in three. The neurological impairment did not differ between treated and untreated patients at the end of a similar follow-up. Our findings indicate that (i) the majority of patients with neuropathy and anti-MAG IgM have a favourable prognosis even after several years, and (ii) current immune therapies, though temporarily effective in half of the patients, are associated with considerable side effects which limit their prolonged use and efficacy, suggesting that until more effective or safer therapies become available, they should probably be reserved for patients impaired in their daily life or in a progressive phase of the disease.Brain 04/2000; 123 ( Pt 4):710-7. · 9.92 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: No causative or curative therapy exists for the polyneuropathy associated with antibodies to myelin-associated glycoprotein (anti-MAG). Rituximab is a mouse-human chimeric antibody that specifically eliminates B-cells and B-cell precursors. Preliminary results suggest a beneficial effect on antibody-dependent autoimmune diseases. Nine patients with an anti-MAG-associated IgM polyneuropathy received rituximab once weekly for 4 weeks. In all patients, the number of B-cells in the peripheral blood declined below levels of detection, and the IgM levels decreased between 35% and 82% (median, 58%). In eight patients, lowering of the anti-MAG antibody titers of more than 52% was observed. Clinical status improved in six patients, remained stable in two, and worsened in one. The motor nerve conduction velocity improved by at least 10% in one ulnar nerve in seven patients and worsened in two. Rituximab was well tolerated and is a promising new drug in the treatment of patients with anti-MAG-associated polyneuropathy.Muscle & Nerve 06/2003; 27(5):611-5. · 2.31 Impact Factor