RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
Cyclosporine A vs. methylprednisolone for Henoch-Schönlein nephritis: a randomized trial.
Knowledge about how to treat severe Henoch-Schönlein nephritis (HSN) is scarce. The aim of our study is to compare cyclosporine A (CyA) and methylprednisolone pulses (MP) in the treatment of severe HSN. Out of 24 pediatric HSN patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria or crescentic HSN in kidney biopsy, seven were randomized to receive CyA for 12 months at an initial dose of 5 mg/kg and eight to receive 3 MP pulses of 30 mg/kg followed by prednisone for 4 months. The other nine patients received identical treatment without randomization. Kidney biopsies were performed at inclusion and after 2 years. The primary outcomes were the duration of proteinuria and hematuria, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and renal biopsy histology. All the 11 CyA-treated patients achieved resolution of nephrotic-range proteinuria within 3 months, while the MP-group response was slower, and in 6/13 was not achieved with the initial treatment. Additional immunosuppressive treatment was needed in none of the CyA-treated patients but in six patients treated with MP (difference in proportion 46%, p = 0.008). The 2-year control biopsies were similarly improved in both groups. After mean 6.1 years (2.2-10.4 years), 16 patients (eight CyA, eight MP) had no renal symptoms and six (three CyA, three MP) had persistent nephropathy but normal renal function. One MP-treated patient had reduced renal function and another had developed ESRD and received a renal transplant. CyA gave a 100% resolution of nephrotic-range proteinuria and a 100% renal survival rate without additional therapy after a mean follow-up of 6 years. Treatment of HSN with CyA is efficacious, safe and not inferior to MP.
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