Despite high-dose corticosteroids alone or with immunosuppressive agents as the standard therapy in lupus myocarditis (LM), an immune complex-mediated critical setting, such management is still associated with resistant disease and even mortality. A retrospective study was performed for the refractory LM patients treated with rituximab (RTX), a very limited experience in English literatures. A retrospective review of the myocarditis manifestation was carried out in hospitalized Han Chinese patients with SLE from February 2007 to January 2017. This study analyzed lupus patients who met the diagnosis of LM for their demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiological data including cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography as well as the medication profiles. Among 802 SLE patients, 13 female (1.6%) aged 19 to 52 years (31.9 ± 10.7), fulfilled the LM diagnostic criteria. Under the indications of LM or multi-organic flares with myocarditis refractory to the conventional therapy, three cases received the RTX therapy. All had improved myocardial function as demonstrated by clinical and imaging presentations as well as a decrease in lupus activity. In this 10-year retrospective monocentric cohort, improved myocardial function is demonstrated in refractory LM patients receiving the RTX therapy.
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