Successful treatment with belimumab of severe systemic lupus erythematosus not responding to standard therapy: a case report

Ottavia Magnani, Elena Penza, Giuseppe Murdaca, Francesco Puppo




Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by complex pathophysiology and heterogeneous clinical picture. Belimumab is the first biological therapy licensed for SLE.

We report the case of a 24 years old woman affected by a severe form of systemic lupus erythematosus with arthritis, muscle weakness, cervical lymphadenopathy, cutaneous involvement, fever, leukopenia, low complement levels and positivity for anti-dsDNA antibodies. Treatment with high dose steroids, hydroxychloroquine, and mycophenolate mofetil did not induce remission and several disease flares were observed. Therapy with anti-BLys monoclonal antibody belimumab leads to a fast clinical and laboratory response and to stable remission lasting for 30 months allowing steroid tapering to very low maintenance dose. 


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE); Belimumab; Biological Therapy

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