Effect of anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (rituximab) on recalcitrant pemphigus vulgaris

Mi Ri Kim, Soo Chan Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Pemphigus is a severe blistering disorder caused by autoantibodies to desmogleins 1 and 3. Because some patients with pemphigus never enter into remission, new immunosuppressants are warranted. Rituximab is a chimeric monoclonal antibody binding to the CD20 antigen on B cells, which proved to be effective in recalcitrant pemphigus. Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Rituximab in the treatment of refractory pemphigus vulgaris. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of six patients with recalcitrant pemphigus vulgaris in Yongdong Severance Hospital. Rituximab was administered intravenously at a dosage of 375 mg/m body surface area. Five patient received 2 cycles of Rituximab treatment with an interval of 7 days. One patient received 5 cycles of treatment. The mean follow-up after treatment was 9.3 months (range, 2 months to 16 months). Results: All the patients presented clinical improvements. The average pemphigus vulgaris severity score decreased from 12.2 to 2.5 after treatment. No adverse effects were observed. Conclusion: Rituximab has been proved as an effective and safe treatment for refractory pemphigus vulgaris.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-324
Number of pages6
JournalKorean Journal of Dermatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dermatology


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