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Effects of cyclophosphamide and rituximab in patients with connective tissue diseases with severe interstitial lung disease


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

 

  1. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany.
  2. Division of Respiratory Medicine, Department of Medicine I, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany.
  3. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany.
  4. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany.
  5. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany.
  6. Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine III, University Medical Centre and Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the TU Dresden, Germany. martin.aringer@uniklinikum-dresden.de

CER14297
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PMID: 33635231 [PubMed]

Received: 04/12/2020
Accepted : 10/02/2021
In Press: 25/02/2021

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
We aimed to analyse the effects of real-life immunomodulatory therapy with cyclophosphamide and rituximab for interstitial lung disease (ILD) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc-ILD), anti-synthetase syndrome (ASS-ILD), or Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS-ILD), in a single academic centre.
METHODS:
All inpatients with connective tissue diseases treated with intravenous bolus cyclophosphamide or rituximab were identified from the Medical Centre records. Information on patient characteristics, chest CT results, pulmonary function tests, therapies, and severe adverse events, were extracted from inpatient and outpatient records.
RESULTS:
Intravenous cyclophosphamide bolus therapy was used in 27 patients with SSc. Cyclophosphamide improved forced vital capacity (FVC) by more than 10% in 4 patients and stabilised it at -0.4% to +3.25% in 8. Rituximab constituted a rescue therapy in 14 SSc patients, and was used for treating 4 patients with ASS-ILD, 2 patients with SjS-ILD and one additional SSc-ILD patient. Rituximab led to FVC improvements of at least 5% in 8 patients and to stabilisation in another 6. 6 patients under cyclophosphamide and 8 patients under rituximab experienced severe adverse events. 8 of the 34 patients died, half of them from causes potentially related to therapy.
CONCLUSIONS:
In this subset of severely sick patients with connective tissue diseases, cyclophosphamide and/or rituximab led to improvement in 12 patients, and stabilisation was seen in 14. Despite the new options with nintedanib, immunomodulation remains a relevant therapeutic modality for ILD associated with connective tissue disease.

Rheumatology Article