Anterior ST-elevation myocardial infarction induced by rituximab infusion: A case report and review of the literature

J Clin Pharm Ther. 2017 Jun;42(3):356-362. doi: 10.1111/jcpt.12522.


What is known and objectives: Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal anti-CD20 antibody approved for the treatment of some lymphoid malignancies as well as for autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and vasculitis. Generally, rituximab is well tolerated; nevertheless, some patients develop adverse effects including infusion reactions. Albeit rare, these reactions may in some cases be life-threatening conditions. Rituximab cardiovascular side effects include more common effects such as hypertension, oedema and rare cases of arrhythmias and myocardial infarction.

Case summary: In this article, we report a case of a 58-year-old man with a history of overlap syndrome including RA and limited scleroderma who was treated with rituximab and developed a dramatic ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) during the drug administration.

What is new and conclusion: This report underlines previous published reports emphasizing the awareness of such an association. This communication also warrants the importance of screening for ischaemic heart disease in selected cases of patients treated with rituximab.

Keywords: ST-elevation myocardial infarction; biosimilar; rituximab; systemic sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Rituximab / administration & dosage
  • Rituximab / adverse effects*
  • ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction / chemically induced*
  • Scleroderma, Limited / drug therapy
  • Undifferentiated Connective Tissue Diseases / drug therapy


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Rituximab