Fatal interstitial pneumonitis related to rituximab-containing regimen

Yair Herishanu*, Aaron Polliack, Leonor Leider-Trejo, Yoel Grieff, Ur Metser, Elizabeth Naparstek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rituximab, a chimeric anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, is commonly being used to treat indolent and aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Rituximab is considered a relatively safe drug, but recently, severe and fatal adverse effects related to this drug have been reported. In this regard, we report an 80-year-old patient with follicular grade 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who developed a fatal interstitial pneumonitis related to treatment with a rituximab/CHOP (cyclophosphamide/doxorubicin/Vincristine/prednisone) regimen. The pneumonitis was diagnosed on a routine midtreatment positron emission tomography/computed tomography scan when the patient was almost asymptomatic. Pulmonary deterioration occurred as the treatment with rituximab/CHOP was continued. In this article, we also review the literature on rituximab-associated pneumonitis, and we discuss the differential diagnosis with cyclophosphamide-induced lung injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-409
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Lymphoma and Myeloma
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Anti-CD20 antibody
  • CHOP therapy
  • Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
  • Retreatment


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