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Indian J Nephrol. 2009 Apr;19(2):48-52. doi: 10.4103/0971-4065.53321.

Ponticelli regimen in idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.

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1
Department of Nephrology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad, India.

Abstract

Various studies have demonstrated that treatment with methyl prednisolone and chlorambucil could increase the chance of remission of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) of varied histology in patients who do not respond to the conventional treatment. This study was done to assess the safety and efficacy of methyl prednisolone and chlorambucil regimen in patients with various types of glomerulonephritides which were resistant to the usual conventional immunosuppressive drugs. Thirty nine patients were treated between June 1998 and December 2003 with Ponticelli regimen for six months. Twenty three patients (58.98%) were men and 16 (41.02%) were women. Mean age at the onset of NS was 23.59 +/- 1.28 (range 10-51) years. Four patients (10.2%) had minimal change disease (MCD), six patients (15.4%) had membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), two (5.1%) had IgA nephropathy, and 18 patients (46.1%) had focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Eleven patients were excluded from the final analysis. Of the remaining 28 patients, mean baseline proteinuria was 3.31 +/- 3.09 g/day. Mean baseline plasma albumin was 2.84 +/- 1.002 g/dl and mean baseline serum creatinine was 0.87 +/- 0.42 mg/dl. At the end of six months of treatment, mean proteinuria was 1.02 +/- 0.85 g/day. Mean plasma albumin was 3.69 +/- 0.78 g/day, and mean serum creatinine was 0.85 +/- 0.26 mg/dl. Mean followup was 13.21 +/- 7.7 times in 18.92 +/- 12.58 months. At the end of six months of treatment, seven patients (25%) achieved complete remission (CR), 10 patients (35.71%) partial remission (PR), and 11 patients (39.3%) did not show any response to the therapy. Most of the patients in responder group had FSGS (64.70%), whereas in nonresponder group patients had MPGN and mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis (MesPGN). Out of 13 FSGS cases five (38.46%) achieved CR, six (46.15%) PR, and only two (15.38%) failed to respond. The incidence of side effects was 39.3%. Responders had more side effects than nonresponders (47 vs 27.3%). Methyl prednisolone and chlorambucil therapy (Ponticelli regimen) is safe and efficacious in achieving remission in significant number of INS patients other than membranous nephropathy, without any serious side effect on short term followup. However, a longer followup is required to demonstrate the sustained efficacy and long-term side effect of this regimen.

KEYWORDS:

Idiopathic nephrotic syndrome; Ponticelli regimen; chlorambucil; prednisolone

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