Rituximab cuts relapse rate in ANCA-associated vasculitis

Successive rituximab infusions do a better job of maintaining remission in ANCA-associated vasculitis than the standard azathioprine treatment, say French researchers.

Their trial randomised 115 patients, mainly suffering from granulomatosis with polyangiitis, to either six-monthly infusions of 500mg rituximab for 18 months or daily azathioprine. Remission had previously been induced in all patients with a combination of glucocorticoids and pulsed cyclophosphamide.

At 28 months, only 5% of rituximab patients had had a major relapse, compared with 29% of those