The total median BVAS/WG score in these patients was 5 (IQR 3–8), and median BVAS/WG score calculated for eye and airway involvement was 3 (2.8–5.5) (Fig. 1). The frequency of disease distribution and BVAS/WG scores are shown in Table S2. At 6 months, a significant decrease was Hydroxychloroquine cost observed in BVAS ENT-EYE-L score [medians before 3 (3–6) versus 2 (1–3), P = 0.02]. Five patients (29%) had a ≥50% treatment response regarding the ENT-EYE-L
manifestations including 1 patient with complete remission. Ophthalmic manifestations, confirmed by MRT in three patients, improved clinically in two patients and progressed in one patient. No clinical improvement was seen in three patients with endobronchial disease in response to RTX treatment (Fig. 4). One patient with tracheal-subglottic stenosis improved clinically, whereas no treatment response was seen in the second NVP-BKM120 concentration patient and progression was observed in the third patient. Multiple nodules and cavities in the lungs diagnosed in five patients resolved in four cases within 5–8 months after RTX treatment initiation, and in one patient, a significant improvement was seen (Fig. 5). For more detailed descriptions, see Supporting information. Rituximab was generally well tolerated, and no serious infusion reactions were observed. No deaths occurred during the follow-up period. However, eight patients (28%)
experienced severe life-threatening events or required hospitalization during the follow-up period because of severe infections. Two patients (7%) needed additional medications owing to pulmonary Pneumocystis jiroveci infections, and one had a severe Aspergillus pneumonia infection. One patient had a severe Herpes infection with MTMR9 signs of meningitis that was successfully treated with acyclovir. Three patients (10%) developed severe neutropenia, whereas one of them displayed generalized bone marrow suppression. Although these three patients received high doses
of oral CYC also, the additive effect of RTX should be considered. During the follow-up period, one patient was diagnosed as having breast cancer. Another patient with a severe relapsing disease (duration more than 27 years) and multiorgan involvement was hospitalized three times during follow-up period owing to erysipelas, sepsis and septic arthritis. This patient had previously been diagnosed as having a urinary bladder cancer 3 years before RTX treatment. One patient suffered haemorrhagic cystitis, a common complication of CYC treatment. The current standard therapy for ANCA-associated vasculitis is high-dose steroids and CYC, the latter being associated with severe adverse events such as leucopoenia, cancers, severe infections, gonadal failure and premature menopause in women. Although it is effective in approximately 80% of patients , there is an unmet need for more efficient and less toxic therapies in these patients.