Indications and Safety of Rituximab in Pediatric Neurology: A 10-Year Retrospective Study



      RTX is used off-label in several neurological inflammatory diseases in adults children patients. We conducted a study to assess indications and safety of rituximab (RTX) for children and to identify risk factors for early B-cell repopulation.


      A single-center retrospective study of children treated with RTX for a neurological disease between May 31, 2010, and May 31, 2020, was performed.


      A total of 77 children (median age, 8.9 years) were included. RTX was mostly used as second-line therapy in all groups of diseases (68%). Median dose was 1500 mg/m2 for each patient. There were 13 clinical relapses (17%), 5 when B-cell depletion was complete. Adverse events were present in 6% of the cases. The factors influencing early B-cell repopulation were the recent infusion of intravenous Ig (P < 0.01) and the administration of less than 1500 mg/m2 during the first RTX treatment (P = 0.04). The median time to B-cell repopulation seemed to be shorter (160 vs 186 days) when patients had plasmapheresis even when a 48-hour delay was observed with RTX infusions.


      This study confirms the good tolerance of RTX in the treatment of specific neurological disorders in a pediatric population. It also highlights risk factors for early B-cell repopulation and underlines the importance of B-cell monitoring.


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