Several uncontrolled studies have encouraged the use of rituximab (RTX) in patients with myositis. Unfortunately, the first placebo-phase trial to assess the efficacy of RTX in refractory myositis did not show a significant difference between the two treatment groups, and doubts have been expressed about its study design. In this review we present an up-to-date overview of the reported experiences of RTX therapy in myositis. A PubMed search was performed to find all the available cases of refractory myositis patients treated with RTX up to July 2015. The following terms were assessed: inflammatory myopathies OR anti-synthetase syndrome OR polymyositis OR dermatomyositis AND RTX. A total of 48 studies were included. We identified 458 patients with myositis treated with RTX. We found a rate of response to RTX of 78.3%. RTX can play a role in the management of patients with myositis, at least in those with positive myositis-specific autoantibodies.
Keywords: anti-synthetase syndrome; dermatomyositis; inflammatory myopathies; polymyositis; rituximab.
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