Immunosuppressive therapies for the induction treatment of proliferative lupus nephritis: a systematic review and network metaanalysis

Simon Yu Tian, Brian M Feldman, Joseph Beyene, Patrick E Brown, Elizabeth M Uleryk, Earl D Silverman
Journal of Rheumatology 2014, 41 (10): 1998-2007

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate and determine the most effective immunosuppressive therapy for the induction treatment of proliferative lupus nephritis (PLN) based on renal remission.

METHODS: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials was conducted. The outcomes were renal remission at 6 months: (1) normalization of serum creatinine [(sCr), or within 15% of the normal range, i.e., sCr < 132 ┬Ámol/l - creatinine remission]; and (2) proteinuric remission (prU < 0.5 g/day/1.73m(2)). A Bayesian network metaanalysis was used.

RESULTS: The OR (95% credible interval) of inducing an sCr remission at 6 months was 1.70 (0.51, 6.87) for mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) versus cyclophosphamide (CYC); 2.16 (0.38, 13.36) for tacrolimus (Tac) versus CYC; and 1.25 (0.13, 10.51) for Tac versus MMF. For proteinuric remission the OR was 1.46 (0.81, 3.04) for MMF versus CYC; 1.96 (0.80, 5.11) for Tac versus CYC; and 1.34 (0.43, 3.90) for Tac versus MMF. The probability (95% credible interval) of inducing a creatinine remission at 6 months was Tac 56% (19%, 88%); MMF 51% (23%, 79%); and CYC 37% (28%, 47%). The probability of inducing a proteinuric remission was Tac 41% (23%, 63%); MMF 34% (23%, 50%); CYC 26% (20%, 32%); azathioprine 10% (1%, 55%); prednisone 11% (2%, 38%). None of the results were conclusive when examined in a sensitivity analysis.

CONCLUSION: There is currently insufficient evidence to determine which of these immunosuppressive agents is superior. The probability of renal remission is 50% or lower at 6 months.


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