Successful treatment of Schnitzler's syndrome with anakinra after failure of rituximab trial

Nicola Cascavilla, M. Bisceglia, G. D'Arena

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We report a 50-year-old man who presented with a 5-year history of an intermittent widespread pruritic urticarioid rash and fever, fatigue, arthralgia and a monoclonal immunoglobulin-M paraprotein. The patient was initially treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids without the disappearance of symptoms. A skin biopsy from the urticarial rash on the thorax was performed, revealing dermal mononuclear and polymorphonuclear cell infiltrate and normal epidermis. A diagnosis of Schnitzler's syndrome (SS), a rare disorder in which the simultaneous occurrence of monoclonal gammopathy and chronic urticaria is usually observed, was made. After an unsuccessful trial with rituximab at a dosage of 375 mg/sqm weekly for 4 consecutive weeks, the patient was treated with anakinra, an inhibitor of interleukin-1α that is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of the disease, at a dose of 100 mg daily given subcutaneously. He showed a prompt response to the drug and he is still well and symptom-free after 12 months of follow-up. On the basis of both this experience and the review of the literature we conclude that anakinra may be a promising option for the treatment of SS. However, these results need to be confirmed on a larger number of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-636
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Anakinra
  • Schnitzler's syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pharmacology


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