Cyclophosphamide versus mycophenolate mofetil in scleroderma interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) as induction therapy: a single-centre, retrospective analysis

Padmanabha D Shenoy, Manish Bavaliya, Sujith Sashidharan, Kaveri Nalianda, Sreelakshmi Sreenath
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2016 June 2, 18 (1): 123

BACKGROUND: Scleroderma is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized mainly by skin manifestations and involvement of various visceral organs, especially the lungs. Lung involvement is the leading cause of mortality in patients with scleroderma. There are data to suggest that cyclophosphamide (CYC) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) are effective in the management of scleroderma interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) but no head to head comparative data are available to date.

METHODS: For the last 3 years, patients with SSc-ILD have been treated at our centre by protocol-based administration of intravenous CYC and MMF. Results of lung function tests (spirometry) were recorded at baseline, 3 months and 6 months in every patient. The clinical records of patients with systemic sclerosis and significant ILD, who were not previously exposed to any immunosuppressant and were treated with MMF OR CYC, were reviewed. The efficacy of treatment was assessed by the change in forced vital capacity on spirometry.

RESULTS: Of the total 57 patients included in the analysis, 34 were treated with MMF and 23 were treated with CYC. Mean duration of illness was 4.19 ± 2.82 years in the MMF and 6.04 ± 5.96 years in the CYC group. After 6 months of therapy, FVC increased by 10.84 ± 13.81 % in the CYC group and by 6.07 ± 11.92 % in the MMF group. This improvement from baseline was statistically significant in both groups (P < 0.01). The improvement was comparable with no statistically significant differences between groups (P = 0.373). There were no major adverse events reported in either arm.

CONCLUSION: Both MMF and CYC were equally effective in stabilizing lung function in patients with scleroderma and ILD.

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