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      Corticosteroids and Ciclosporin A in Idiopathic Membranous Nephropathy: Higher Remission Rates of Nephrotic Syndrome and Less Adverse Reactions than after Traditional Treatment with Cytotoxic Drugs

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          Background/Aim: Idiopathic membranous nephropathy, the most common cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults, has been traditionally treated with corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs. Ciclosporin A (CsA) is used in resistant cases, but also as a first-line treatment, due to the serious side effects of cytotoxic drugs. In this study, the remission rates of nephrotic syndrome and the incidence of side effects of corticosteroids and low CsA doses are compared with those after treatment with cytotoxic drugs. Methods: Seventy-seven nephrotic patients with well-preserved renal function who were treated with methylprednisolone and CsA (n = 46) or cytotoxic drugs (n = 31) were studied. The effects of treatments were estimated on the basis of remission rates of nephrotic syndrome and preservation of the renal function. Results: Remission (complete or partial) of nephrotic syndrome was observed in 85% of the patients treated with CsA and in 55% of the patients treated with cytotoxic drugs (p < 0.01). Deterioration of the renal function, more common in patients with multiple relapses and interstitial fibrosis, was observed in 26 and 23% of the patients, respectively (p = NS). Serious side effects and discontinuation of treatment were more frequent in patients treated with cytotoxic drugs (10 vs. 4%). Conclusion: The combination of corticosteroids with CsA represents a better regimen for patients having idiopathic membranous nephropathy, since it is associated with higher remission rates of nephrotic syndrome and less severe side effects than corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs.

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          Most cited references 10

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          Cyclosporine in patients with steroid-resistant membranous nephropathy: a randomized trial.

          A clinical trial of cyclosporine in patients with steroid-resistant membranous nephropathy (MGN) was conducted. Although MGN remains the most common cause of adult-onset nephrotic syndrome, its management is still controversial. Cyclosporine has been shown to be effective in cases of progressive MGN, but it has not been used in controlled studies at an early stage of the disease. We conducted a randomized trial in 51 biopsy-proven idiopathic MGN patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria comparing 26 weeks of cyclosporine treatment plus low-dose prednisone to placebo plus prednisone. All patients were followed for an average of 78 weeks, and the short- and long-term effects on renal function were assessed. Seventy-five percent of the treatment group versus 22% of the control group (P < 0.001) had a partial or complete remission of their proteinuria by 26 weeks. Relapse occurred in 43% (N = 9) of the cyclosporine remission group and 40% (N = 2) of the placebo group by week 52. The fraction of the total population in remission then remained almost unchanged and significant different between the groups until the end of the study (cyclosporine 39%, placebo 13%, P = 0.007). Renal function was unchanged and equal in the two groups over the test medication period. In the subsequent follow-up, renal insufficiency, defined as doubling of baseline creatinine, was seen in two patients in each group, but remained equal and stable in all of the other patients. This study suggests that cyclosporine is an effective therapeutic agent in the treatment of steroid-resistant cases of MGN. Although a high relapse does occur, 39% of the treated patients remained in remission and were subnephrotic for at least one-year post-treatment, with no adverse effect on filtration function.
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            Idiopathic membranous glomerulonephritis.

             D Cattran (2001)
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              Induction and long-term treatment with cyclosporine in membranous nephropathy with the nephrotic syndrome.

              Cyclosporine A (CyA) has been shown to be effective in membranous nephropathy (MN). However, the optimal dose and the duration of treatment remain controversial issues. We evaluated the efficacy of low-dose CyA alone or combined with corticosteroids as induction and long-term treatment for nephrotic patients with MN. In the first part of the study, 51 nephrotic patients with MN were treated either with CyA and prednisolone (n=31) or CyA alone (n=20) for 12 months. Patients who responded with complete remission (CR) or partial remission (PR) were placed on long-term treatment with lower doses of CyA and prednisolone or CyA alone. The mean follow-up of the second part of the study was 26+/-16 months and 18+/-7 months, respectively. After 12 months of treatment, 26 patients in the combination group and 17 patients in the monotherapy group had a CR or PR of proteinuria (P=NS). Renal function was unchanged in the two groups. During long-term treatment relapses were more frequent in the monotherapy group (47 vs 15%, P<0.05). Daily CyA dose was higher in non-relapsers in both groups (combination 1.4+/-0.5 vs 1.0+/-0.3 mg/kg, P<0.001, monotherapy 1.5+/-0.4 vs 1.1+/-0.2 mg/kg, P<0.003). Relapsers in both groups had lower CyA trough levels (72+/-48 ng/ml) compared with non-relapsers (194+/-80 ng/ml) (P<0.03). Renal function and proteinuria remained stable during the follow-up. This study suggests that 12-month therapy with CyA (+/-prednisolone) is effective in inducing remission in most nephrotic patients with MN and well-preserved renal function. Longer treatment with lower doses is a useful approach to maintain remission. Relapses occur more frequently in the monotherapy group and usually are associated with CyA trough levels<100 ng/ml.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                May 2007
                27 March 2007
                : 27
                : 3
                : 226-231
                Departments of Internal Medicine/Nephrology, University Hospitals of aPatras, bIoannina, cAlexandroupolis, dHeraklion, and eLarissa, Greece
                101367 Am J Nephrol 2007;27:226–231
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 1, References: 17, Pages: 6
                Original Report: Patient-Oriented, Translational Research


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