Table of Contents
Volume 2014, Article ID 160421, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Rituximab Induced Interstitial Lung Disease in Patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma: A Clinical Study of Six Cases and Review of the Literature

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals, MSRIT Post, Bangalore 560054, India
2Department of Medical Oncology, M. S. Ramaiah Medical College and Hospitals, MSRIT Post, Bangalore 560054, India

Received 7 July 2014; Revised 21 August 2014; Accepted 7 September 2014; Published 15 September 2014

Academic Editor: Valli De Re

Copyright © 2014 Uma Maheswari Krishnaswamy 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.


Background. Rituximab-induced lung disease (R-ILD) is a rare entity that should be considered in patients treated with rituximab who present with dyspnea, fever, and cough but no clear evidence of infection. Aim. The aim of this prospective longitudinal study is to describe the clinical presentation, management, and response to rechallenge in patients diagnosed with rituximab induced ILD over a period of one year. Results. Out of sixteen patients with CD20 positive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma who received rituximab along with standard chemotherapy, six patients developed features suggestive of R-ILD. Four (66.6%) of these patients had diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The median time of presentation of R-ILD was after the 3rd cycle of chemotherapy. Three patients (50%) presented with acute onset of high fever, dyspnea, and dry cough while the remaining three presented with insidious onset of dyspnea and dry cough. An infectious etiology for the respiratory illness was ruled out in all patients with an exhaustive work-up. Four patients (66.6%) responded to corticosteroid treatment and supplemental oxygen. One patient required mechanical ventilation and succumbed to ILD while another required prolonged supplemental oxygen. Two (33.3%) of patients were successfully rechallenged with rituximab under cover of corticosteroids. Conclusions. Rituximab induced lung disease is a rare but potentially fatal pulmonary toxicity which requires a high index of suspicion for early diagnosis and treatment.