Unexpected positive effects of rituximab and corticosteroids on COVID-19 in a patient suffering from granulomatosis with polyangiitis

Document Type : CASE REPORT


1 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences; Acquired Immunodeficiency Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


The COVID-19 pandemic has raised concerns among physicians and patients with autoimmune disorders about how this viral infection affects the patients receiving immunosuppressive drugs. There are speculations about a higher incidence and severity of COVID-19 in patients receiving a variety of immunosuppressant drugs. However, we reported the rapid recovery from COVID-19 in a 67-year-old male with granulomatosis with polyangiitis who did not experience severe symptoms of the COVID-19 as expected, despite having a history of serious lung involvement due to the autoimmune disease. He received conventional medications to treat COVID-19, though he had been receiving rituximab and corticosteroids before the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Prevention of the cytokine storm caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection owing to taking the immunosuppressive drugs (rituximab and corticosteroids) could be a reason for these unexpected observations. Therefore, this case showed that taking immunosuppressive drugs is unlikely to be directly related to the increased severity of COVID-19.


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