Myasthenia gravis is a B-cell-mediated autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and fatigability of skeletal muscles. The underlying defect is an autoantibody-mediated attack on the acetylcholine receptors (AchRs) at the neuromuscular junction. Rituximab is a genetically engineered chimeric murine/human monoclonal antibody indicated for treatment of patients with low-grade or follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Based on its potential for elimination of auto-reactive B-cell clones, rituximab may have a role in the management of some autoimmune disorders. We report a patient with B-cell, follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a long-standing history of myasthenia gravis and the favorable impact of rituximab on both disorders.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.