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    Rituximab (RTX) is widely used in the treatment of connective tissue disease (CTD) because it can target and eliminate pathogenic B cells. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is one of the common complications of CTD; however, the clinical benefits of RTX in connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD) are still controversial. This meta-analysis was performed to systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of RTX in CTD-ILD patients. We performed a systematic online query in PubMed, Cochrane, and Embase up to February 2020. Randomized controlled trials and observational studies on the use of RTX and conventional treatment in CTD-ILD patients were comprehensively reviewed and investigated. In total, 6 studies, including 242 participants, were analysed. The pooled results showed that RTX is superior to conventional treatment methods in improving forced vital capacity and modified Rodnan skin scores (MRSS) in patients with systemic sclerosis (P<0. 05), but there was no statistically significant difference between RTX and conventional treatment method in the improvement of lung diffusion function. The risk of adverse effects declined in the RTX therapy groups compared with the conventional therapy groups in terms of infection and the blood system. The pooled results of this meta-analysis indicated that RTX is well tolerated, and RTX is able to improve or stabilize pulmonary function in CTD-ILD patients. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Nan-Shu Xing, Guan-Zhi Fan, Fei Yan, Yi-Ping Liu, Rong Zhang. Safety and efficacy of rituximab in connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International immunopharmacology. 2021 Jun;95:107524

    PMID: 33721757

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