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BioMed Research International
Volume 2018, Article ID 1316096, 12 pages
Review Article

Efficacy and Safety of the Combination Treatment of Rituximab and Dexamethasone for Adults with Primary Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP): A Meta-Analysis

1Department of Oncology and Hematology, Dongzhimen Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China
2Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Clinical Medical College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
3Department of Hematology, Dongfang Hospital, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, Beijing, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xinyi Chen; moc.621@9270iynixnehc

Received 4 June 2018; Accepted 22 October 2018; Published 12 December 2018

Academic Editor: Carlo Visco

Copyright © 2018 Jia Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To conduct a meta-analysis, assessing the efficacy and safety of the combination treatment of dexamethasone and rituximab for adults with ITP (primary immune thrombocytopenia). Methods. Randomized controlled trials that compared rituximab and dexamethasone combination treatment to dexamethasone monotherapy in the treatment of adults with ITP were collected by searching Pubmed, Embase, Cochrane, China National Knowledge (CNKI), Wanfang database, and Sino Med. We conducted pooled analyses on OR (overall response) rate, CR (complete response) rate, PR (partial response) rate, SR (sustained response) rate, R (relapse) rate, change in Treg cell count (mean [SD]), and AE (adverse event). GRADE pro scale was used to assess the quality of the evidence. Publication bias was assessed with Egger’s test method. Results. A total of 11 randomized controlled trials were eligible for inclusion. The overall efficacy estimates favored combination arm in terms of OR rate at month 3, CR rate at week 4 and month 3, SR rate, and Treg cell count at week 2. Subgroup analysis showed that females obtained a higher OR rate than males did at week 4. No significant difference was found in pooled analysis of relapse rate between combination arm and monotherapy arm. The comparison of serious AE and other AEs showed no significant difference either. A total of 19 outcomes were assessed by GRADE pro software, of which 79% (15/19) was scaled as moderate-to-high level. Publication bias existed in studies on OR at week 4 (P=0.025), CR at week 4 (P=0.017), infection (P=0.006), and rash (P=0.028) of the AEs. Conclusion. Dexamethasone combined with rituximab can provide a better long-term response in the treatment of adults with ITP and will not increase the risk of adverse effects.