Department of Medical Specialties, Rheumatology Section, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, KSA.
There is increasing interest in rituximab (RTX) as an alternative to cyclophosphamide for the treatment of interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc). However, no report has addressed its efficacy in Saudi patients with SSc-ILD. To assess the efficacy of RTX treatment in Saudi patients with SSc-ILD, hospital records were reviewed between 2013 and 2016. Four female patients received at least 4 cycles of RTX (I cycle, consisting of two infusions of 1000 mg 2 weeks apart). Pulmonary function tests (PFTs) and chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) were performed before and after treatment to assess the response. HRCT revealed improvement in one patient, stable disease in two patients, and worsening in one patient. Moreover, RTX prevented the further decline of forced vital capacity significantly in PFT. These results provide further evidence that RTX is an effective treatment for SSc-ILD.