Background: Rituximab (RTX) has been previously reported as directed treatment in patients with connective-tissue disease-related interstitial lung diseases (CTD-ILD). A systematic assessment of treatment effect size on pulmonary function outcomes and related adverse effects in patients with CTD-ILD has not been previously reported. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published reports from PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Libraries. Randomized and non-randomized controlled trials, case–control, cohort, and case series (with five or more cases) containing individual pulmonary function data and adverse effects were included. Study endpoints were pre- and post-treatment change in percent predicted forced vital capacity (FVC %) and diffusion capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO%), along with reported drug-related adverse events. Results: Twenty studies totaling 411 patients were identified with 14 included in the meta-analysis of pulmonary function and six in the descriptive review. Random effects meta-analysis of pre- and post-treatment pulmonary function findings demonstrated increases in FVC% (n = 296) (mean difference (MD) 4.57%, [95% CI 2.63–6.51]) and DLCO% (n = 246) (MD 5.0% [95% CI 2.71–7.29]) after RTX treatment. RTX treatment-related adverse effects were reported in 13.6% of the pooled cohort. Conclusions: A systematic assessment of post-treatment effect size suggests a potential role for RTX in stabilizing or improving lung function in patients with CTD-ILD, with a modest but not insignificant adverse effect profile.
- Connective-tissue disease related interstitial lung disease
- Systematic review
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine