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Rituximab Effective in Difficult-To-Manage Autoimmune Hepatitis

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In patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) who are not responding to first- or second-line therapies, rituximab is safe and effective, while allowing steroid doses to be reduced, according to a study published in JHEP Reports.

In this multicenter, international retrospective cohort study, data from 22 patients who received rituximab between 2007 and 2017 were collected. Clinical response was assessed using changes in biochemical and immunological parameters up to 24 months post-rituximab infusion. The dose of prednisolone at 3 months before and 12 months after treatment was compared and AIH flares post-treatment were assessed.

Median time from diagnosis to end of the follow-up period was 11 years (range 3-28 years). Following rituximab therapy, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and albumin values improved significantly, and were sustained for up to 2 years.

By 12 months post-treatment, 62% of patients had a significantly reduced prednisolone dose (P = 0.003). Approximately 71% of patients were free from AIH flares at 2 years.

No serious adverse events attributable to rituximab were reported.

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Than NN, Hodson J, Schmidt-Martin D, et al. Efficacy of rituximab in difficult-to-manage autoimmune hepatitis: results from the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group. JHEP Rep. 2019;1(6):437-445. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2019.10.005