Life-threatening Disseminated Enterovirus Infection During Combined Rituximab and Ibrutinib Maintenance Treatment for Mantle Cell Lymphoma

A Case Report

Maximilian Higer; Denis Cana; Juergen Podlech; Simin Schadmand-Fischer; Andreas Schwarting; Daniel Teschner; Matthias Theobald; Thomas Wölfel; Georg Hess


J Med Case Reports. 2020;14(135) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Rituximab is a well-established component of treatment regimens for B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Rituximab binds the CD20 antigen on the surface of B lymphocytes, causing an enhanced clearance of malignant and benign B cells. Thus, rituximab leads to depletion of normal B lymphocytes as well, which can cause substantial immunodeficiency. Ibrutinib inhibits the Bruton tyrosine kinase and thereby B-cell activity. It is used for the treatment of different B-lymphocyte malignancies, such as mantle cell lymphoma. Recently, the combination of both drugs has been tested in various clinical scenarios.

Case Presentation: We present a case of disseminated enterovirus infection resulting from combined rituximab and ibrutinib maintenance treatment in a 57-year-old Caucasian patient. with mantle cell lymphoma. Initially presenting with myositis symptoms, further diagnostic investigation revealed myocarditis, enteritis, myeloencephalitis, and hepatitis. These organ manifestations led to potentially life-threatening complications such as rhabdomyolysis, delirium, and heart rhythm disturbances. After treatment with high-dose intravenous immunoglobulins, virus clearance was achieved and organ functions could be restored.

Conclusions: This case emphasizes the risk of combined therapy with rituximab/ibrutinib for severe immune-related side effects with the necessity of continuous patient monitoring. High-dose intravenous therapy should be considered as treatment for severe enterovirus infection. In severe enterovirus infections, we recommend subtyping for the development of efficient preventive and therapeutic strategies.