Rituximab for treatment of endocrine ophthalmopathy

Download in PDF

Endocrine ophthalmopathy (EOP) is a vision-threatening and disfiguring extrathyroid manifestation of Graves' disease, which often impairs the quality of life of patients and causes severe social and psychological consequences. Currently, intravenous glucocorticosteroids are the first line treatment for EOP. However, their effectiveness in these patients is frequently unsatisfactory, whereas the recurrence rate of EOP is high. Rituximab (RТX) is a chimeric monoclonal antibody directed against CD20, a surface antigen present on B cells. Numerous clinical studies of RТX in patients with EOP have shown promising results. RТX is currently considered an acceptable second-line option in patients who do not respond to previous treatments or present with relapse of the disease. This review summarizes the available data on the efficacy and safety of RTX in EOP patients, including the results of two randomized controlled trials. The potential benefits as well as limitations of RТX therapy are discussed.

Key words

Endocrine ophthalmopathy, rituximab, clinical studies, glucocorticosteroids, Graves' disease, treatment.