Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with a wide number of immunologic disorders, ranging from clinically silent laboratory abnormalities (eg, autoantibody positivity) to severe systemic diseases (eg, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis). Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), due to the production of antibodies against erythrocyte membrane antigens, is an uncommon extrahepatic manifestation in the setting of chronic hepatitis C. Herein we have reported the case of a 57-year-old woman with decompensated HCV-related cirrhosis awaiting orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) who experienced severe AIHA. After 1 month of treatment with prednisone (1 mg/kg body weight/d), there was no significant amelioration of anemia. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that depletes B-lymphocytes reducing serum immunoglobulins, was initiated (375 mg/m(2) IV, weekly for 4 weeks) with a prompt, sustained increase in hemoglobin. The drug was well tolerated; it did not interfere with the course of the liver disease. Thirty-one months after rituximab therapy with resolution of AIHA, the patient successfully underwent OLT using immunosuppression with tacrolimus and low-dose steroids. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 36. No infectious event occurred in the postoperative period. At 18 months follow-up after OLT, there has been no infectious or hematological event. Our experience supported the safety of rituximab use in patients with advanced HCV-related liver disease before OLT.
|Numero di pagine||3|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2009|
- HEMOLYTIC ANEMIA
- LIVER TRANSPLANTATION
- STEROID RESISTANCE