Dual renin-angiotensin system blockade plus oral methylprednisone for the treatment of proteinuria in IgA nephropathy

Hernán Trimarchi, Alexis Muryan, Pablo Young, Mariano Forrester, Alejandro Iotti, Horacio Pereyra, Fernando Lombi, Omar Seminario, Mirta Alonso, Roberto Iotti
Medicina 2007, 67 (5): 445-50
Renin-angiotensin system inhibition is a widely accepted approach to initially deal with proteinuria in IgA nephropathy, while the role of immunosuppressants remains controversial in many instances. A prospective, uncontrolled, open-label trial was undertaken in patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy with proteinuria > 0.5 g/day and normal renal function to assess the efficacy of a combination treatment of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors plus angiotensin receptor blockers enalapril valsartan coupled with methylprednisone to decrease proteinuria to levels below 0.5 g/day. Twenty patients were included: Age 37.45 +/- 13.26 years (50% male); 7 patients (35%) were hypertensive; proteinuria 2.2 +/- 1.86 g/day; serum creatinine 1.07 +/- 0.29 mg/dl; mean follow-up 60.10 +/- 31.47 months. IgA nephropathy was subclassified according to Haas criteria. Twelve patients (60%) were class II; seven (35%) were class III and one (5%) class V. All patients received dual renin-angiotensin system blockade as tolerated. Oral methylprednisone was started at 0.5 mg/kg/day for the initial 8 weeks and subsequently tapered bi-weekly until the maintenance dose of 4 mg was reached. Oral steroids were discontinued after 24 weeks (6 months) of therapy but renin-angiotensin inhibition remained unchanged. At 10 weeks of therapy proteinuria decreased to 0.15 +/- 0.07 g/day (P < 0.001) while serum creatinine did not vary: 1.07 +/- 0.28 mg/dl (P = ns). After a mean follow-up of 42.36 +/- 21.56 months urinary protein excretion (0.12 +/- 0.06 g/day) and renal function (serum creatinine 1.06 +/- 0.27 mg/dl) remained stable. No major side effects were reported during the study. Renin-angiotensin blockade plus oral steroids proved useful to significantly decrease proteinuria to < 0.5 g/day in patients with IgA nephropathy without changes in renal function.

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