Controlled trial of pulse methylprednisolone versus two regimens of pulse cyclophosphamide in severe lupus nephritis.

Kidney Disease Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 39.21). 10/1992; 340(8822):741-5. DOI: 10.1016/0140-6736(92)92292-N
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Pulse cyclophosphamide is more effective than prednisone alone in preventing renal failure in lupus nephritis. We undertook a randomised, controlled trial to find out whether pulse methylprednisolone could equal pulse cyclophosphamide in preserving renal function in patients with lupus nephritis, and whether there was a difference between long and short courses of pulse cyclophosphamide in preventing exacerbations. 65 patients (60 female, 5 male; median [range] age 29 [10-48] years) with severe lupus nephritis were assigned randomly to monthly pulse methylprednisolone for 6 months (25 patients), monthly pulse cyclophosphamide for 6 months (20), or monthly cyclophosphamide for 6 months followed by quarterly pulse cyclophosphamide for 2 additional years (20). Patients treated with pulse methylprednisolone had a higher probability of doubling serum creatinine than those treated with long-course cyclophosphamide (p less than 0.04). Risk of doubling creatinine was not significantly different between short and long course cyclophosphamide. However, patients treated with short-course cyclophosphamide had a higher probability of exacerbations than those treated with long-course cyclophosphamide (p less than 0.01). An extended course of pulse cyclophosphamide is more effective than 6 months of pulse methylprednisolone in preserving renal function in patients with severe lupus nephritis. Addition of a quarterly maintenance regimen to monthly pulse cyclophosphamide reduces the rate of exacerbations.

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    ABSTRACT: Lupus nephritis (LN) is a major cause of morbidity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). B cells have a central role in the pathogenesis of SLE. B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and a proliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) are pivotal in B cell homeostasis. We aimed to investigate a potential role of serum BLyS and APRIL as biomarkers in LN, especially as predictors of treatment response. Sixty-four patients with active LN (52 proliferative lupus nephritis (PLN); 12 membranous LN) were included. Renal biopsies were performed at baseline and after immunosuppressive treatment. Serum levels of BLyS, APRIL and autoantibodies were measured on both biopsy occasions and in 64 individually matched controls. Renal biopsies were evaluated using the International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society classification, and scored for Activity Index and Chronicity Index. Clinical responders (CR) were required to have ≥50% reduction in proteinuria, normal or improved renal function, and inactive urinary sediment. Histopathological responders (HR) were required to have ≥50% improvement in Activity Index. Baseline BLyS levels were significantly higher in LN patients compared with controls (p<0.001) and remained unchanged following induction treatment. APRIL levels were significantly higher in patients compared with controls at baseline (p=0.005) and decreased following treatment (p<0.001). Among PLN patients, APRIL levels decreased significantly only in responders (CR: p=0.009; HR: p=0.01). Baseline BLyS levels <1.5 ng/mL predicted treatment response, attaining a positive predictive value of 92% for CR with PLN at baseline. BLyS and APRIL were affected differently by immunosuppression; BLyS levels remained unchanged following therapy while APRIL levels decreased. Despite unchanged BLyS levels following therapy, low baseline levels predicted both clinical and histopathological improvement. Our data support APRIL as a candidate biomarker of renal disease activity in lupus patients with proliferative glomerulonephritis and point to low baseline BLyS levels predicting treatment response in LN, especially in PLN.
    01/2015; 2(1):e000061. DOI:10.1136/lupus-2014-000061
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    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 01/2009; · 9.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is an immunosuppressive agent that has been shown to be effective in transplant patients. It is also efficacious in the management of lupus nephritis and useful in the treatment of autoimmune conditions because its mechanisms of action target T- and B- lymphocytes, leading to suppression of the cell-mediated immune response and antibody formation. MMF has been used successfully to treat immune-mediated conditions like myasthenia gravis, autoimmune hepatitis and immune cytopenias. However, the conditions for its optimal use for non-renal manifestations (e.g., hematological, neuropsychiatric, myocardial, pulmonary or cutaneous symptoms) in lupus patients are unclear. There have yet to be any randomized, controlled trials to guide the optimal dose and duration of MMF treatment in such situations. MMF is well tolerated and safe to use, although there are reports of serious adverse effects including urticaria, myopathy, Epstein-Barr virus-associated B-cell lymphoma, cytomegalovirus infection and disseminated varicella zoster infection. Immunosuppressive treatment with MMF and supportive care over the past few decades have led to improved clinical outcomes in patients with severe lupus nephritis. A favorable long-term prognosis can be ensured provided that effective treatment is instituted early, before irreversible renal parenchymal damage occurs. Another area of concern for patients is the increased cost of long-term MMF use.