Clinical stabilization and effective B-lymphocyte depletion in the cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood of a patient with fulminant relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Olaf Stüve, Sabine Cepok, Birte Elias, Andreas Saleh, Hans Peter Hartung, Bernhard Hemmer, Bernd C. Kieseier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Scopus citations


Background: The anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody rituximab effectively depletes B lymphocytes and has been successfully used in the therapy of immune-mediated disorders of the peripheral nervous system. A limited effect of rituximab on B lymphocytes in the cerebrospinal fluid compartment of patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) was recently reported. Objective: To determine the effect of rituximab on clinical, magnetic resonance imaging, and immunological variables in a patient with relapsing-remitting MS. Design: A patient with relapsing-remitting MS was treated with rituximab. The patient was repeatedly examined clinically and by magnetic resonance imaging. The frequency of peripheral blood and cerebrospinal fluid B lymphocytes was assessed by flow cytometry before, during, and after rituximab therapy. Results: Rituximab monotherapy resulted in significant clinical improvement. Inflammatory surrogate markers on magnetic resonance imaging were also reduced. B lymphocytes were depleted in the cerebrospinal fluid and peripheral blood. Conclusions: Our data demonstrate beneficial clinical effects of rituximab in relapsing-remitting MS, mediated through modulation of humoral systemic and central nervous system intrinsic immune responses. Clinical trials should determine optimal therapeutic strategies for patients with relapsing-remitting MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1620-1623
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of neurology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2005


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Neurology

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