There is currently a lack of studies investigating long-term prognosis and the necessity of further rituximab (RTX) consolidation treatment for minimal change disease (MCD) and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of RTX for these diseases and to investigate whether a consolidation treatment can lower risks of relapse and reinforce long-term remission.
A retrospective study was conducted. The relapse and remission of 70 patients treated with 1 course of RTX treatment (4 infusions of 375 mg/m2) over a median follow-up time of 27 months (12–60 months) were analyzed. The rates of patients that were able to achieve non-relapse for a duration of 24 months between RTX consolidation therapy and non-consolidation therapy were compared.
There were 67 cases (95.71%) of remission and 3 cases (4.29%) of non-remission. The average number of relapses decreased from 3.7±2.5 times before the treatment to 0.8±1.8 times after treatment (P <0.001). The average avannual number of relapses decreased from 1.3±1.2 times/year to 0.2±0.3 times/year (P <0.001). The results from the Cox proportional-hazards model showed that the risk of relapse in patients who received RTX non-consolidation treatment was significantly higher than those with consolidation treatment (odds ratios (OR) 20.9, 95% confidence intervals (CI) OR 5.7–75.7, p<0.001). The 24-month relapse-free rate was also significantly higher in patients with consolidation therapy compared with non-consolidation therapy (86.36% vs 25%, p<0.001). No adverse events were recorded.