Rituximab is an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody frequently used for the treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. In addition, rituximab has recently been increasingly used as an off-label treatment in a number of inflammatory and systemic autoimmune diseases. It is advised that rituximab infusion may cause infusion reactions and adverse cardiac effects including arrhythmia and angina, especially in patients with prior history of cardiovascular diseases. However, its detailed cardiotoxicity profile and effects on cardiac function were not well described. We report a 51-year-old man who developed non-ischemic cardiomyopathy after rituximab treatment for membranous nephropathy. The patient experienced reduced cardiac functions within 48 hours after the initial infusion, which remained markedly reduced at 9-month follow-up. As the utility of rituximab expands, physicians must be aware of this serious cardiovascular adverse effect.
Keywords: Adverse effect; Cardiomyopathy; Cardiovascular disease; Membranous nephropathy; Rituximab.