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      Mycophenolate in Refractory and Relapsing Lupus Nephritis

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          Background: Mycophenolate (MF) is effective as induction and maintenance treatment in patients with lupus nephritis (LN). This study evaluates the efficacy and safety of MF in patients with refractory and relapsing LN. Methods: Data were retrospectively obtained for 85 patients (35 refractory and 50 relapsing) from 11 nephrology departments in Spain. The primary endpoints were the incidence and cumulative number of renal responses and relapses and their relationship with baseline clinical and analytical data. The secondary endpoint was the appearance of side effects. Results: The main clinical and analytical variables were similar both in refractory and relapsing LN. Most of the patients had received cyclophosphamide, and all of them switched to MF. 74 patients (87%) achieved a response (69% partial, 31% complete). Age at starting MF, gender, pathological classification, body mass index, blood pressure, baseline renal function, and proteinuria were not associated with achieving response. After stopping MF, 3 of 19 patients (15.7%) relapsed, all at 6 months of follow-up. No differences were found between clinical and analytical variables and number of relapses. Side effects were unremarkable, except for 1 patient, who died of thrombocytopenia and ovarian hemorrhage. Conclusions: Switching to MF from other immunosuppressive treatments is effective and safe in refractory and relapsing LN.

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          Most cited references 23

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          Induction and maintenance treatment of proliferative lupus nephritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

          Lupus nephritis accounts for ~1% of patients starting dialysis therapy. Treatment regimens combining cyclophosphamide with steroids preserve kidney function but have significant side effects. Newer immunosuppressive agents may have improved toxicity profiles.
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            Successful mycophenolate mofetil treatment of glomerular disease.

            Eight patients with resistant and/or relapsing nephrotic syndrome or renal insufficiency were empirically treated with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF). The underlying glomerular diseases were membranous nephropathy (N = 3), minimal change disease (n = 2), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (n = 1), and lupus nephritis (N = 2). Treatment with MMF 0.75 to 1.0 g twice daily, either as monotherapy or in combination with low-dose steroid treatment, resulted in substantial reductions in proteinuria or stabilization of serum creatinine. In relapsing patients following withdrawal from cyclosporin A, MMF achieved suppression of proteinuria equivalent to or better than that which occurred during cyclosporin A treatment. Steroids were successfully withdrawn in each of the non-lupus patients. MMF was well tolerated with no evidence of hematologic, hepatic, or other toxicity. These clinical anecdotes demonstrate the short-term clinical efficacy of MMF treatment. In addition, they suggest that MMF may have major steroid-sparing effects and might represent an alternative to cyclosporin A in appropriate patients.
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              Mycophenolate mofetil for systemic lupus erythematosus refractory to other immunosuppressive agents.

              Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is an immunosuppressive drug widely used in solid organ transplantation, and it may play an increasing role in autoimmune disease. MMF has been introduced as a novel immunosuppressive agent in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), often in patients intolerant of or resistant to conventional immunosuppressive regimens. We studied 21 patients with SLE, most of whom had previously received courses of cyclophosphamide therapy and had also received courses of azathioprine or methotrexate. Indications for treatment included uncontrolled disease activity and worsening renal involvement. MMF treatment resulted in reduced disease activity, as assessed by the SLEDAI (SLE disease activity index) (P=0.0001) and decreased proteinuria (P=0.027) while allowing a significant reduction in oral corticosteroid dose (P=0.0001). Levels of complement factors C3 and C4 and anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies were not significantly affected. MMF appears to be a safe and effective alternative immunosuppressant for extra-renal and renal disease in SLE not responding to conventional immunosuppressive treatment.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                September 2014
                30 July 2014
                : 40
                : 2
                : 105-112
                aHospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, bHospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, cHospital General Universitario de Albacete, Albacete, dHospital Universitario Carlos Haya, Málaga, eHospital Clinic Universitari de Valencia, Valencia, fHospital San Pedro de Logroño, Logroño, gHospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Oviedo, hHospital Universitario Infantil La Fe, Valencia, iHospital Severo Ochoa, Leganés, jFundación Hospital Alcorcón, Madrid, and kHospital Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain
                Author notes
                *Dr. Francisco Rivera, Sección de Nefrología, Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real, ES-13004 Ciudad Real (Spain), E-Mail
                365256 Am J Nephrol 2014;40:105-112
                © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Pages: 8
                Original Report: Patient-Oriented, Translational Research


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