Targeted Therapy with Rituximab in Felty’s Syndrome: A Case Report

Line Heylen 1, Daan Dierickx 2, Peter Vandenberghe 3, René Westhovens*, 1
1 Rheumatology, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
2 Haematology, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
3 Human Genetics, University Hospital Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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© Heylen et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Rheumatology, UZ KU Leuven, Herestraat 49, 3000 Leuven, Belgium; Tel: +32-16-342541; Fax: +32-16-342543; E-mail:


Felty’s syndrome is a rare, severe extra-articular manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There is no standard therapy, and several disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs have been used with varying success. Only very few reports exist in literature on the use of biologicals in this indication and this with a variable efficacy. We report the case of a 53-year-old woman with severe refractory/partly undertreated RA who presented with Felty’s syndrome and pancytopenia, in whom treatment with rituximab led to an marked increase of red blood cells, neutrophils and thrombocytes. In addition, the RA disease activity status improved dramatically and treatment with steroids could be reduced. The current sparse literature on this topic is reviewed.

Keywords: Felty’s syndrome, Rituximab, rheumatoid arthritis..