Treatment of Childhood-Onset Lupus Erythematosus Panniculitis with Rituximab

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7 Scopus citations


Importance: Childhood-onset lupus erythematosus panniculitis (LEP) is a rare and chronic disfiguring disease. A paucity of literature exists on the clinical manifestations of this disease and how best to treat it. Objectives: To describe the clinical features of childhood-onset LEP and report on the use of rituximab in treatment-refractory childhood-onset LEP. Design, Setting, and Participants: A retrospective, observational case series study was conducted of 4 patients with childhood-onset LEP who presented to a single-center, tertiary care clinic with pediatric dermatology and pediatric rheumatology clinics between July 1, 2014, and July 1, 2018, and were treated with rituximab. A literature review was conducted of the clinical features and treatment of childhood-onset LEP. Exposure: Rituximab therapy for childhood-onset LEP. Main Outcomes and Measures: Reduction in the number and size of erythematous and tender subcutaneous nodules (both visually and by palpation), reduction of facial atrophy (documented with serial photography), and tolerability of rituximab at 2 to 22 months after initiation of therapy. Results: Four patients (3 male; mean [SD] age at treatment, 15 [5.9] years) with refractory childhood-onset LEP were successfully treated with rituximab. All patients had a rapid and sustained response to therapy with rituximab. One patient (25%) had minor infusion reactions; otherwise, treatment was well tolerated. Conclusions and Relevance: This case series suggests that rituximab may hold promise as a treatment for refractory, childhood-onset LEP. Larger, prospective studies are needed to validate these findings; however, given the rarity of disease, large studies may be difficult to conduct.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)566-569
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors/administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Panniculitis, Lupus Erythematosus/drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rituximab/administration & dosage
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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