Anti-CD20 Blocker Rituximab in Kidney Transplantation

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Rituximab is a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal protein used in various clinical scenarios in kidney transplant recipients. However, its evidence-based use there remains limited due to lack of controlled studies, limited sample size, short follow-up and poorly defined endpoints. Rituximab is indicated for CD20+ posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder. It may be beneficial for treating recurrent membranous nephropathy and recurrent allograft antineutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody vasculitis and possibly for recurrent focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. Rituximab, in combination with IVIg/plasmapheresis, appears to decrease antibody level and increase the odds of transplantation in sensitized recipients. The role of Rituximab in ABOi transplant remains unclear, as similar outcomes are achieved without its use. Rituximab is not efficacious in antibody-mediated rejection/chronic antibody-mediated rejection. Strict randomized control trials are necessary to elucidate its true role in these settings.

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