[Mycophenolate mofetil in treatment of childhood nephrotic syndrome—preliminary report]

Joanna Kwinta-Rybicka, Katarzyna Wilkosz, Ewa K Wierzchowska-Słowiacze, Iwona Ogarek, Anna Moczulska, Zofia Stec, Anna Pełkowska, Krystyna Sancewicz-Pach, Jacek A Pietrzyk
Przegla̧d Lekarski 2006, 63 Suppl 3: 44-8
The management of nephrotic syndrome (NS) in children remains a clinical challenge for pediatricians and pediatric nephrologists. Especially, the treatment of patients with steroid-resistant (SR) and steroid-dependent (SD) nephrotic syndrome, because they are at risk for developing complications from prolonged exposure to steroids, CsA and alkylating agents. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is a selective and reversible inhibitor of inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase used above all in transplantology and recently also in patients with nephrotic syndrome. The aim of this study was to tentatively assess the usefulness and the safety of MMF as an immunosuppressive agent in children with steroid-resistant NS, in whom remission was not obtained with previous treatment regimens, and those with steroid-dependent NS, in whom severe adverse reactions were observed in steroid and cyclosporine therapy. The study included 19 children with NS (11 girls, 8 boys) aged 7 to 19.5 years (a mean of 13.5), treated at the Deptartment of Pediatric Nephrology. The duration of disease was from 1 to 16 years (a mean of 9.3). The patients were divided into 3 groups: I--9 children with steroid-dependent NS; II--6 children with steroid-dependent NS and episodes of steroid-resistance; III--4 children with steroid-resistant NS. All patients in groups II and III required multi-drug therapy (prednisone, cyclosporine A, methylprednisolone, chlorambucil, cyclophosphamide) before MMF was introduced. MMF was administered orally: 180-600 mg/m2 body surface/dose, twice daily. The follow-up period lasted for 4 to 16 months (a mean of 7.7). The clinical outcome analysis included decrease or disappearance of proteinuria, clinical improvement and/or possibility of tapering therapy intensity, especially the dosage of steroids and/or CsA. Also, renal function was monitored with serum cystatine C concentration. Particular attention was paid to adverse effects of MMF upon the gastro- intestinal tract and/or opportunistic infections. All medication (apart from MMF) could be discontinued in 4 patients; in 15 cases, prednizone dose was reduced and in 9 cases CsA dose was reduced or discontinued. In group I (SD) steroid treatment could be reduced from a mean prednisone dose of 22.8 to 3.6 mg/m2/48 hours (p=0.018), in groups II and III, in spite of 50 % reduction of a mean prednisone dose, the difference did not reach statistical significance. During MMF therapy Csa treatment could be reduced from a mean CsA dose 4.3 to 2.9 mg/kg/24 hours (p=0.008). Improvement or preservation of stable renal function was observed in all patients--cystatin C levels decreased significantly from a mean 1.35 to 0.96 mg/l (p=0.007). Adverse reaction to MMF (abdominal pain) was observed in 2 patients (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea in 1, CMV infection in 1). The initial clinical observation of MMF treatment in nephrotic patients shows its best effect in the group of patients with steroid-dependent NS. MMF can safely be used in children with NS. The introduction of MMF allows for reduction of other chronically used medications, especially CsA and steroids.

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