Rituximab in the treatment of refractory dermatomyositis

J Clin Rheumatol. 2005 Oct;11(5):264-6. doi: 10.1097/01.rhu.0000182155.08982.60.


Dermatomyositis is an inflammatory myopathy characterized by muscle weakness and inflammation. In contrast to polymyositis and inclusion body myositis, humoral immune mechanisms appear to contribute to the pathogenesis of dermatomyositis. A 56-year-old man with dermatomyositis resistant to conventional therapies was treated with 6 weekly infusions of the anti-CD-20 monoclonal antibody, rituximab, at a dosage of 100 mg/m in addition to other agents. The patient demonstrated a remarkable clinical response as indicated by an increase in muscle strength and a decline in creatine kinase enzymes. B-cell depletion therapy with rituximab used alone or in combination with other immunosuppressive therapies may be a viable option in patients with dermatomyositis as well as other autoimmune diseases refractory to current therapies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Creatine Kinase / analysis
  • Dermatomyositis / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rituximab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Rituximab
  • Creatine Kinase