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Consensus statement on the use of rituximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  1. J S Smolen1,
  2. E C Keystone2,
  3. P Emery3,
  4. F C Breedveld4,
  5. N Betteridge5,
  6. G R Burmester6,
  7. M Dougados7,
  8. G Ferraccioli8,
  9. U Jaeger9,
  10. L Klareskog10,
  11. T K Kvien11,
  12. E Martin-Mola12,
  13. K Pavelka13,
  14. The Working Group on the Rituximab Consensus Statement
  1. 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University of Vienna; Second Department of Medicine, Hietzing Hospital Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  2. 2Rebecca MacDonald Centre for Arthritis and Autoimmunity, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  3. 3Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, Chapel Allerton Hospital, Leeds, UK
  4. 4Arthritis Care, London, UK
  5. 5Leiden University Medical School, Leiden, The Netherlands
  6. 6Department of Rheumatology, Charité Hospital, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
  7. 7Department of Rheumatology, Hopital Cochin, René Descartes University, Paris, France
  8. 8Division of Rheumatology, Institute of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome, Italy
  9. 9Division of Haematology, First Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
  10. 10Department of Rheumatology, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  11. 11Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  12. 12Rheumatology Department, Hospital Universitario La Paz, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  13. 13Institute and Clinic of Rheumatology, Charles University Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor J S Smolen
    Department of Rheumatology, Third Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria; josef.smolen{at}


A large number of experts experienced in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis were involved in formulating a consensus statement on the use of B cell-targeted treatment with rituximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The statement was supported by data from randomised controlled clinical trials and the substantial literature on oncology. The statement underwent three rounds of discussions until its ultimate formulation. It should guide clinicians in the use of this newly approved biological agent in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • ACR, American College of Rheumatology
  • SCDAI, Simplified composite Disease Activity Index
  • DAS28, 28-joint Disease Activity Score
  • DMARD, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug
  • HACA, human antichimeric antibody
  • MTX, methotrexate
  • SDAI, simplified Disease Activity Index
  • TNF, tumour necrosis factor
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  • Published Online First 20 December 2006

  • Competing interests: The views expressed in this guidance document including the final recommendations were not influenced by the sponsor and no representative of the sponsor was present in any of the discussion sessions. However, the guidance document was developed with the help of an unrestricted educational grant and all participants except the patient representative have been active on advisory boards or participated in clinical trials by the sponsor.

  • Members of the Working Group on the Rituximab Consensus Statement: Jordi Carbonell, Bernard Combe, Maurizio Cutolo, Thomas Dörner, Angela Gause, Juan Gomez-Reino, Carlos Gonzales Fernandes, John D Isaacs, José Luis Marenco, Xavier Mariette, Marco Matucci-Cerinic, Carlo-Maurizio Montecucco, Hubert Nüßlein, Mikkel Østergaard, Eliseo Pascual, Piet van Riel, Andrea Rubbert, Raimon Sanmarti, Zoltan Sekanecz, Paul-Peter Tak, Hans-Peter Tony, Gabriele Valentini, Guido Valesini.

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