Background & aims: Biliary strictures occur in a third of patients with autoimmune pancreatitis and have been termed immunoglobulin G subclass 4 (IgG4) associated cholangitis (IAC). IAC often responds to steroid therapy.
Methods: A patient with autoimmune pancreatitis and (IAC) refractory to steroids and 6-mercaptopurine was treated with rituximab, a monoclonal antibody directed against the CD20 antigen on B lymphocytes.
Results: The patient's biliary strictures improved after rituximab therapy, permitting removal of his biliary stents. Systemic manifestations of IgG4-associated disease also improved.
Conclusions: Rituximab may be a treatment option for patients with refractory or recurrent autoimmune pancreatitis or IAC.