Immunoglobulin serum levels in rituximab-treated patients with steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome

  • Cyrielle Parmentier
  • Jean-Daniel Delbet
  • Stéphane Decramer
  • Olivia Boyer
  • Julien Hogan
  • Tim UlinskiEmail author
Original Article



Rituximab (RTX) is efficient in steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome (SDNS) in pediatric and adult patients. The aim of this study is to describe hypogammaglobulinemia as a side effect of RTX treatment.


All pediatric patients (< 18 years old) of four French pediatric nephrology centers who received RTX for SDNS between 2010 and 2015 have been included. Clinical and biological data have been analyzed retrospectively before, during, and after RTX treatment. Hypogammaglobulinemia was defined as an IgG level < − 2 standard deviations for patient age.


A total of 107 pediatric patients have been included, 65.9% were boys, median age at nephrotic syndrome diagnosis was 3.1 interquartile range [IQ 2.24–5.45] years and age at RTX introduction was 11.7 [IQ 8.6–14.2] years. Twenty-one patients had hypogammaglobulinemia before the initiation of RTX. Of the patients, 25/86 had at least one hypogammaglobulinemia during B cell depletion or after B cell recovery while IgG levels at initiation were normal with a persisting hypogammaglobulinemia for 13 patients 1 year after B cell recovery. Patients who developed hypogammaglobulinemia were younger at RTX initiation with a median age of 8.2 years [IQ 6.3–12.4]. Among all the 46 patients with hypogammaglobulinemia during follow-up, 13 had a concomitant infection.


Hypogammaglobulinemia is a frequent complication of RTX treatment in younger children treated for SDNS. The use of RTX in children has to be carefully evaluated and their clinical and biological follow-up should be adapted to the age-dependent risk profile for hypogammaglobulinemia.


Hypogammaglobulinemia Immunoglobulin G Infection Nephrotic syndrome Rituximab 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© IPNA 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric Nephrology UnitArmand Trousseau HospitalParisFrance
  2. 2.Sorbonne UniversityParisFrance
  3. 3.Inflammation–Immunopathology–BiotherapyParisFrance
  4. 4.Pediatric Nephrology and RheumatologyCHUToulouseFrance
  5. 5.Pediatric Nephrology UnitNecker HospitalParisFrance
  6. 6.Pediatric Nephrology UnitRobert-Debré HospitalParisFrance

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