Bilateral retinal vasculitis in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus and its remission with rituximab therapy

Lupus. 2010 Mar;19(3):327-9. doi: 10.1177/0961203309347332. Epub 2009 Nov 9.


Severe retinal vasculitis is a rare, but potentially blinding, complication of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We describe here the first reported case of treating severe bilateral SLE-associated retinal vasculitis with the anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab, a drug which has established its role in rheumatoid arthritis and has shown promise in case series for the treatment of severe SLE that is unresponsive to other therapies. This case suggests that rituximab-induced B-cell depletion may provide an important new therapeutic option for refractory cases of this devastating ocular complication.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20 / immunology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Remission Induction / methods
  • Retinal Vasculitis / drug therapy*
  • Retinal Vasculitis / etiology
  • Rituximab
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Antigens, CD20
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Rituximab