Intravenous rituximab therapy for active Graves’ ophthalmopathy: a meta-analysis

Abstract

Aim

The successful treatment of Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO) remains a challenge, while the efficacy of rituximab (RTX) is at present controversial. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the potential impact of intravenous RTX therapy in patients with GO.

Methods

We performed a search in the PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science databases for relevant studies published before July 2020. The primary outcome was the change of clinical activity score (CAS), and secondary outcomes were the change of proptosis and TSH receptor antibodies (TRAb). A meta-analysis was conducted to calculate the standard mean difference (SMD) for these outcomes by using fixed- or random-effect models.

Results

Analysis of outcomes in 152 patients collected from 12 published articles was conducted. Compared to baseline value, CAS was significantly decreased at 1, 6, 12, and >12 months after RTX treatment. For proptosis, the results revealed no significant decrease at 1–3, 6, and ≥12 months. Moreover, the pooled analysis employed in this meta-analysis showed no significant difference of TRAb at 1 month, but significant declines were observed at 6 and ≥12 months.

Conclusion

Our results strongly suggest that intravenous RTX treatment has an acute and long-lasting beneficial effect on decreasing both CAS and TRAb. The study also indicates that the effect of RTX on proptosis is limited. There is evidently a need to investigate the mechanism behind RTX ineffectiveness on proptosis and explore other therapeutic regimens for the reduction of proptosis.

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Authors

Contributions

Jing Chen wrote the draft and collected and analyzed the data; Gang Chen designed the study and analyzed the data. Huilan Sun designed the study and revised the draft.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Gang Chen or Huilan Sun.

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All analyses were based on previously published studies; thus, no ethical approval was required.

All analyses were based on previous published studies; thus, no informed consent was required.

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Cite this article

Chen, J., Chen, G. & Sun, H. Intravenous rituximab therapy for active Graves’ ophthalmopathy: a meta-analysis. Hormones (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42000-021-00282-6

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Keywords

  • Rituximab
  • Graves’ ophthalmopathy
  • Treatment
  • Meta-analysis