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Efficacy of rituximab in thymoma associated minimal change disease: case report

Abstract : Background: Thymomas have been associated with a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases. Minimal change disease (MCD) is the most frequent pathological lesion reported. Pathophysiological mechanisms involved in secondary MCD, and linking MCD to thymoma are not yet fully explained, although the hypothesis of T cell dysfunction has been suggested. The fundamental therapeutic principles are steroids and surgical treatment of thymoma, but failures and relapses often require immunosuppressant combinations. Case presentation: A 62-year-old female was admitted in our unit for a nephrotic syndrome associated with a thymoma. The diagnosis of thymoma associated MCD was confirmed by kidney biopsy. After surgical resection of the thymoma and steroid therapy, no remission was observed. Immunosuppressive therapy was then intensified with introduction of rituximab. Here, we report a steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome secondary to MCD associated thymoma, which achieved complete remission after rituximab therapy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the use and efficacy of rituximab therapy in this pathology. Conclusions: Our case report suggests that primary and secondary MCD may share similar pathophysiological mechanisms. It does not allow us to draw any conclusions about the mechanism of action of rituximab, but we believe this report argues for the safety and efficacy of rituximab use in thymoma-associated MCD, and therefore constitutes a rationale for future studies.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 11:30:28 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:55:18 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, December 29, 2021 - 6:23:56 PM


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Zhour El Ouafi, Clovis Mugnier, Robin Jeannet, Clément Danthu, Marion Duval, et al.. Efficacy of rituximab in thymoma associated minimal change disease: case report. BMC Nephrology, BioMed Central, 2021, 22 (1), pp.303. ⟨10.1186/s12882-021-02479-8⟩. ⟨inserm-03356618⟩



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