Rituximab treatment combined with methylprednisolone pulse therapy and immunosuppressants for childhood steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome

Kamei, Koichi; Okada, Mari; Sato, Mai; Fujimaru, Takuya; Ogura, Masao; Nakayama, Makiko; Kaito, Hiroshi; Iijima, Kazumoto; Ito, Shuichi
July 2014
Pediatric Nephrology;Jul2014, Vol. 29 Issue 7, p1181
Academic Journal
Background: Calcineurin inhibitors (CIs) with/without intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (MPT) constitute the standard treatment for childhood-onset, steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). However, some patients fail to achieve remission. We treated SRNS patients resistant to CIs and MPT with additional rituximab combined with MPT and immunosuppressive agents. Methods: Ten patients (aged 2-14 years) with CI- and MPT-resistant SRNS were enrolled. Patients were administered rituximab (1-4 doses; 375 mg/m) followed by MPT (30 mg/kg/day of methylprednisolone for 3 consecutive days) once every 2-4 weeks until complete remission (CR). We analyzed clinical outcome and safety. Results: Six patients received a single dose of rituximab, 2 received two doses, and 2 received four doses. Seven patients achieved CR, 1 achieved partial remission, and 2 showed no response. Although 2 patients with no response progressed to end-stage renal failure, 7 patients with CR preserved normal renal function without proteinuria at the last observation. There were two serious adverse events. Conclusions: Additional rituximab combined with conventional MPT and immunosuppressive agents is a promising option for overcoming refractory SRNS. Aggressive B cell suppression by rituximab may ameliorate resistance to conventional treatments and a cocktail of other immunosuppressive agents, such as CIs, MMF, mizoribine, may be beneficial. However, as intense immunosuppression may cause serious adverse events, further evaluation is necessary.


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