Response of myasthenia gravis to rituximab in a patient with non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Am J Hematol. 2004 Oct;77(2):196-7. doi: 10.1002/ajh.20169.


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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / complications
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / drug therapy*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / complications
  • Myasthenia Gravis / drug therapy*
  • Myasthenia Gravis / enzymology
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide / adverse effects
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide / therapeutic use
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Cholinesterase Inhibitors
  • Rituximab
  • Pyridostigmine Bromide