Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Regression of Henoch-Schönlein disease with intensive immunosuppressive treatment.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the results of a new immunosuppressive cycle, which had given favorable results in other immune-mediated glomerulonephritides, in the treatment of Henoch-Schönlein disease.

METHODS: Eight patients (seven male and one female; age range, 13 to 61 years) with biopsy-proved Henoch-Schönlein were treated with the following protocol: (1) induction with 250 to 750 mg intravenous methylprednisolone every day for 3 to 7 days plus 100 to 200 mg oral cyclophosphamide every day, (2) maintenance with 100 to 200 mg oral prednisone on alternate days plus cyclophosphamide, as before, for 30 to 75 days; (3) tapering, with prednisone reduced on average by 25 mg every month while the cyclophosphamide dose remained the same, and (4) discontinuation, after at least 6 months, with abrupt interruption of cyclophosphamide and slow tapering of prednisone. The results were assessed in terms of remission, improvement, progression of disease, kidney failure, and death, unambiguously defined. The follow-up extended up to 12 years.

RESULTS: Seven of eight patients had a complete remission that was maintained indefinitely thereafter. Plasma creatinine levels decreased on average from 211 +/- 81 to 92 +/- 27 mumol/L (p < 0.01) and urine protein excretion decreased from 1.9 +/- 0.8 to 0.3 +/- 0.1 gm/day (p < 0.01). One patient died of intestinal infarction caused by atherosclerotic mesenteric artery thrombosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that an intensive immunosuppressive regimen that combines prednisone and cyclophosphamide at high doses can be effective in healing Henoch-Schönlein disease.

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