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Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2012 May;27(5):1910-5. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfr548. Epub 2011 Nov 9.

Long-term follow-up after rituximab for steroid-dependent idiopathic nephrotic syndrome.

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Pediatric Nephrology, University Children’s Hospital, Hamburg, Germany.



In patients with refractory steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS), treatment with rituximab has shown encouraging results; however, long-term follow-up data are not available.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 37 patients (25 boys) with steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome who were treated with rituximab (375 mg/m(2) given weekly for one to four courses). Long-term follow-up data (>2 years, median 36, range 24-92.8 months) are available for 29 patients (12 boys).


Twenty-six of 37 (70.3%) patients remained in remission after 12 months. Relapses occurred in 24 (64.8%) patients after a median of 9.6 (range 5.2-64.1) months. Time to first relapse was significantly shorter in patients receiving one or two compared to three or four initial infusions. In the 29 patients with long-term follow-up for >2 years, 12 (41%) patients remained in remission after the initial rituximab course for >24 months, 7 (24.1%) patients without further maintenance immunosuppression. Nineteen children received two to four repeated courses of rituximab increasing the total number of patients with long-term remission to 20 (69%), remission including 14 (48%) patients off immunosuppression. The proportion of patients with long-term remission was not related to the number of initial rituximab applications. No serious side effects were noted.


Rituximab is an effective treatment option in the short- and long-term control of treatment refractory SSNS. Further controlled studies are needed to address optimal patient selection, dose and safety of rituximab infusions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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