B lymphocyte depletion therapy with rituximab in rheumatoid arthritis

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2004 May;30(2):393-403, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2004.01.006.


B lymphocyte depletion therapy in rheumatoid arthritis can provide major clinical benefits. Widespread use in the future will depend on continued evidence of safety, particularly in the context of long term use. Rituximab is a highly effective agent, but it may be best used in combination with other agents. Substantial improvement following a single course of therapy has been found to last up to 42 months, and it is reasonable to hope that further development of strategies targeting B cells will extend this toward the original aim of truly long-term remission.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antirheumatic Agents / immunology
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Depletion / methods*
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Rituximab