Rituximab for management of refractory pregnancy-associated immune thrombocytopenic purpura

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2010 Dec;32(12):1167-1171. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)34741-7.


Background: Rituximab is a novel therapy for immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP); however, information about its safety in pregnancy is limited. This case illustrates the successful use of rituximab to treat pregnancy-associated ITP.

Case: A 34-year-old woman presented with severe ITP at 23 weeks' gestation. Standard treatment with corticosteroids, intravenous immune globulin, and splenectomy failed to raise the platelet count. Due to ongoing bleeding, rituximab was given in the 26th week of pregnancy. The platelet count rose to over 100 × 10(9)/L after four weeks. The neonatal B-lymphocyte count normalized at four months after delivery. There were no neonatal complications of rituximab therapy.

Conclusion: Rituximab may be safe for use in treating pregnancy-associated ITP. This case highlights the need to investigate further the safety and efficacy of rituximab in pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications / drug therapy*
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / diagnosis*
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / drug therapy*
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turner Syndrome / diagnosis


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