- Rituximab is more efficient and better tolerated than the immunomodulatory drugs (IMs), azathioprine and methotrexate, for treating relapsing autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP).
Why this matters
- AIP patients who have frequent relapses, cannot tolerate high-dose steroids, or cannot wean from steroids without disease recurrence are likely to benefit from rituximab or IM treatment.
- Researchers analysed the health records of patients treated for AIP (type 1: n=92; men, 76.4%; median age at diagnosis, 58 years; type 2: n=70; men, 50.7%; median age at diagnosis, 32 years).
- Funding: None.
- Relapse rate was 46.5% for type 1 patients and 12.5% for type 2 patients.
- Treatment with IM prevented relapse in 67% (14) of 21 patients (median follow-up, 17 [range, 3-66] months).
- Treatment with rituximab prevented relapse in 94.1% (16) of 17 patients (P=.03; median follow-up, 20 [range, 11-44] months).
- The study was retrospective with small sample size and long recruitment period.