Rituximab administration in third trimester of pregnancy suppresses neonatal B-cell development

D. T. Klink, R. M. van Elburg, M. W. J. Schreurs, G. T. J. van Well

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We describe the effect on the neonate of administration of rituximab to a woman with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). Rituximab, an anti-CD20 antibody, was given weekly for 4 weeks to a woman with ITP in her third trimester of pregnancy. One month after the last rituximab administration a healthy girl was born. She had normal growth and development during the first six months. At birth, B-lymphocytes were not detectable. Rituximab levels in mother and neonate were 24000 and 6700 ng/mL, respectively. Only 7 cases of rituximab administration during pregnancy were described. No adverse events are described for fetus and neonate. We demonstrate that rituximab passes the placenta and inhibits neonatal B-lymphocyte development. However, after 6 months B-lymphocyte levels normalized and vaccination titres after 10 months were adequate. No infection-related complications occurred. Rituximab administration during pregnancy appears to be safe for the child but further studies are warranted. Copyright (C) 2008 D. T. Klink et al
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271363
JournalClinical & developmental immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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