Sonia Ketari Jamoussi
Imène Zaghdoudi
Besma Ben Dhaou
Samir Kochbati
Khaoula Mir
Zeineb Ben Ali
Fatma Boussema
Ouahida Cherif
Mâamar M
Lilia Rokbani


Background: Catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome is a distinctly rare dramatic condition characterized by widespread thrombosis of small vessels. Early diagnosis and aggressive therapies are essential in this condition because of its extremely high mortality rate. Therapeutic management include heparine, high dose steroids, cyclophosphamide, plasma exchange, intravenous immunoglobuline, however a number of patients are refractory to treatment.
Aim: We review and discuss alternative and emerging treatment options by rituximab for patients who fail or cannot tolerate conventional therapy.
Case-report: A 36 year old female with a two mounths history of dyspnea, palpitation and chest pain was admitted. Physical examination upon admission revealed a fever, ischemic digital necrosis, scleroderma of the hands and beaking of the nose. Laboratory tests showed normal level of liver enzymes, elevation of
creatinine level, lymphopenia, haemolytic anaemia with negative Coombs tests, low platelet count, prolonged partial thromboplastin time. The D-Dimer value was 158 ng/ml. Urinalysis revealed a proteinuria. Antinuclear antibody tests and lupus anticoagulant were strongly positive. Echocardiography revealed severe pulmonary hypertension and pericarditis. There was no pulmonary embolism on thoracic angio tomodensitometry. The diagnosis of catastrophic antiphospholipid antibody syndrome associated with systemic lupus and scleroderma was established. She was treated with anticoagulants, corticotherapy, one pulse of
intravenous cyclophosphamide, 2 doses of intravenous immunoglobuline and 5 sessions of plasmapheresis. Because of lack of response 2 doses of 375 mg weekly rituximab IV were added but she developed pulmonary embolism, alveolar haemorrhage and she died.
Conclusion: Effectiveness of Rituximab for the CSAPL should be demonstrated by further studies.


Catastrophic antiphospholipid, Anti CD 20, Catastrophic antiphospholipid



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