• The combination of ATRA and LD-RTX could achieve an 80% overall response rate and a 61% sustained response rate.

  • The ATRA plus LD-RTX regimen is a promising treatment option for corticosteroid-resistant or relapsed ITP.

The study aimed to compare the efficacy and safety of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) plus low-dose rituximab (LD-RTX) with LD-RTX monotherapy in corticosteroid-resistant or relapsed immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) patients. Recruited patients were randomized at a ratio of 2:1 into 2 groups: 112 patients received LD-RTX plus ATRA and 56 patients received LD-RTX monotherapy. Overall response (OR), defined as achieving a platelet count of ≥ 30 × 109/L confirmed on at least two separate occasions (at least 7 days apart), at least a doubling of the baseline platelet count without any other ITP-specific treatment and the absence of bleeding within 1 year after enrollment, was observed in more patients in the LD-RTX plus ATRA group (80%) than in the LD-RTX monotherapy group (59%) (between-group difference, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.36). Sustained response (SR), defined as maintenance of a platelet count > 30 x 109/L, an absence of bleeding, and no requirement for any other ITP-specific treatment for 6 consecutive months after achievement of OR during 1 year following enrollment, was achieved by 68 (61%) patients in the combination group and 23 (41%) patients in the monotherapy group (between-group difference, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.35). The 2 most common AEs for the combination group were dry skin and headache or dizziness. Our findings demonstrated that ATRA plus LD-RTX significantly increased the overall and sustained response, indicating a promising treatment option for corticosteroid-resistant or relapsed adult ITP. This study is registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT03304288.

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