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Use of intravenous immunoglobulin to treat chronic bilateral otomastoiditis in the setting of rituximab induced hypogammaglobulinemia.

Author(s): Otremba MD, Adam SI, Price CC, Hohuan D, Kveton JF.

Affiliation(s): Departments of Surgery, Section of Otolaryngology, Head, and Neck Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA. michael.otremba@yale.edu

Publication date & source: 2012, Am J Otolaryngol. , 33(5):619-22

The temporal bone may be affected by a variety of systemic pathology because the disease nature, location, and extent determine the symptoms. Middle ear and mastoid infections may be the initial clinical manifestation of autoimmune and acquired immunodeficiency disorders. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 chimeric antibody, has become increasingly popular as a therapeutic agent for patients with a wide range of autoimmune disorders refractory to standard treatments. Normal levels of immunoglobulin levels are usually maintained during and after rituximab therapy, and clinical trials to date have shown no statistically significant increase of serious infections among patients with autoimmune diseases being treated with rituximab (Cohen SB, Emery P, Greenwald MW, Dougados M, Furie RA, Genovese MC, et al, for the REFLEX Trial Group. Rituximab for rheumatoid arthritis refractory to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy: results of a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III trial evaluating primary efficacy and safety at 24 weeks. Arthritis Rheum. 2006;54:2793-2806. Edwards JC, Szczepanski L, Szechinski J, Filipowicz-Sosnowska A, Emery P, Close DR, et al. Efficacy of B-cell-targeted therapy with rituximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. N Engl J Med. 2004;350:2572-2581). However, there have been several reports of opportunistic infections associated with rituximab (Kelesidis T, Daikos G, et al. Does rituximab increase the incidence of infectious complications? A narrative review. Int J Infect Dis 2011;15:e2-e16. Teichmann LL, Woenckhaus M, Vogel C, et al. Fatal Pneumocystis pneumonia following rituximab administration for rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology 2008;47:1256-1257), as well as cases of it accelerating the presentation of hypogammaglobulinemia (Diwakar L, Gorrie S, et al. Does rituximab aggravate pre-existing hypogammaglobulinaemia? J Clin Pathol 2010;63:275-277). Humoral immune defects can cause persistent acute and serous otitis media, with the development of chronic suppurative otitis media refractory to medical and surgical therapy (Sasaki CT, Askenase P, Dwyer J, et al. Chronic ear infection in the immunodeficient patient. Arch Otolaryngol 1981;107:82). Here, we describe the first presentation, diagnostic workup, and treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin of chronic bilateral otomastoiditis in the setting of rituximab-induced hypogammaglobulinemia.

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