The vast majority of patients with anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody-associated vasculitis (AAV) who receive conventional treatment with glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide experience frequent relapses and treatment-related side-effects. Increasing knowledge of the pathogenesis of AAV has permitted the development of targeted therapies against tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-a and T and B lymphocytes. Therapy with TNF-a blocking drugs has so far proved disappointing, and this approach is not recommended. B cell depletion using rituximab is effective for remission induction, especially in refractory patients. The long-term side-effects and the best method of using rituximab to maintain remission are still to be determined.