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Cobo-Ibanez T.,Hospital Universitario Infanta Sofia | Loza-Santamaria E.,Institute for Musculoskeletal Health | Pego-Reigosa J.M.,Institute Investigacion Biomedica Of Vigo Ibiv | Marques A.O.,Hospital Universitario Germans Trias i Pujol | And 5 more authors.
Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2015

Objective: To analyse the efficacy and safety of rituximab in the treatment of non-renal systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Methods: We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials up to June 2013. The following were the selection criteria: (1) adult patients with SLE, (2) rituximab treatment, (3) placebo or active comparator, (4) outcome measures assessing efficacy and/or (5) safety. Meta-analysis, systematic literature reviews, randomised control trials (RCT), open clinical trials and cohort studies were included.Independent extraction of articles by 2 authors using predefined data fields was performed. The quality of each study was graded using the Oxford Levels of Evidence and Jadad's scale. Results: A total of 26 articles met our inclusion criteria: one RCT and its exploratory analysis, 2 open studies and 22 cohort studies, which analysed 1,231 patients. Overall, patients had active disease refractory to steroids and/or immunosuppressant drugs. Acceptable evidence suggested improvements in disease activity, arthritis, thrombocytopaenia, complement and anti-dsDNA, with a steroid-sparing effect. But relapses of disease were demonstrated too. Weak evidence suggested a response in anaemia, cutaneous and neuropsychiatric manifestations. Available evidence revealed few major adverse events. Studies had medium methodological quality and in general were applicable to current practice. Conclusion: Rituximab has been shown to be safe and effective in the treatment of non-renal SLE, especially in terms of disease activity, immunologic parameters and steroid-sparing effect. However, it can only be recommended for organ-specific manifestations such as arthritis and thrombocytopaenia. High-quality studies are needed in order to consider the long-term effects of re-treatment on different organ-specific manifestations. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.

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