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Extending rituximab dosing intervals in patients with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond?

Abstract : Objective To evaluate disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) receiving rituximab with an extended dosing interval. Methods In the context of COVID-19 pandemic, this was an interim analysis of an ongoing prospective observational study of patients who were stable on rituximab for at least 6 months and who had a planned extended dosing interval of 24 months. Only data for patients with active RRMS before rituximab were analyzed. Results Among 177 patients receiving rituximab, 33 had RRMS and MRI activity before rituximab and at least 8 months of follow-up after the last infusion. The mean (SD) age was 40 (14) years, 25 were females, the mean disease duration was 10 (6.8) years, the mean annual relapse rate (ARR) before rituximab was 1.7 (1.3), and the median Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score before rituximab was 4.5 (1–7). Before extended dosing, when rituximab was infused every 6 months, the mean (SD) ARR decreased to 0.04 (0.1) ( p < 0.0001) and the EDSS score to 4 (0–7) ( p = 0.04). At the time of this analysis, the median follow-up since the last infusion was 11 (8–31) months. No patient showed relapse or disability progression. In total, 30 patients had at least 1 MRI performed since the last infusion (median time between the last MRI and the last infusion 10 [8–31] months). No MRI showed activity. The CD19 + cell proportion was >1% for 10 of 25 patients at the last count (median time 8 [6–25] months). Conclusions An extended dosing interval for rituximab for patients with stable MS during the COVID-19 pandemic may be associated with a low risk of disease activity.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03537503
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 2:23:43 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 21, 2022 - 4:12:27 AM

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Adil Maarouf, Audrey Rico, Clemence Boutiere, Marine Perriguey, Sarah Demortiere, et al.. Extending rituximab dosing intervals in patients with MS during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond?. Neurology Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, American Academy of neurology, 2020, 7 (5), pp.e825. ⟨10.1212/NXI.0000000000000825⟩. ⟨hal-03537503⟩

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