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Serum sickness reaction to obinutuzumab in a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia
  1. Oday Elmanaseer1,
  2. Alzira R M Avelino1,
  3. Amin Azem1 and
  4. Mihir Raval2
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York, USA
  2. 2Hematology, New York Oncology and Hematology, Albany, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oday Elmanaseer; elmanao{at}


Serum sickness (SS) is a known phenomenon; however, it is commonly missed due to vague symptoms, and is usually confounded by other aetiologies that present similarly. Obinutuzumab is a novel anti-CD20 antibody agent that has been approved for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) treatment. At the time of approval, it was not linked to SS; however, this phenomenon has been recognised with other anti-CD20 agents like rituximab. SS remains a rare entity, but it is important to be recognised accurately and quickly in the appropriate circumstances, so that effective treatment with corticosteroids can be initiated to alleviate inflammatory symptoms. Here we present a patient with CLL who developed maculopapular rash, fever and polyarthritis and elevated inflammatory markers consistent with serum sickness triggered by obinutuzumab and was effectively treated with corticosteroids.

  • haematology (drugs and medicines)
  • immunological products and vaccines
  • malignant disease and immunosuppression
  • haematology (incl blood transfusion)

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  • Contributors Literature review: OE, AA, Drafting and summary: OE, AA, AA, Editing: AA, MR, Supervision: MR.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.