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Biol Pharm Bull. 2017 Nov 1;40(11):1833-1838. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b17-00134. Epub 2017 Sep 1.

Effects of Tripterygium wilfordii Induction Therapy to IgA Nephropathy Patients with Heavy Proteinuria.

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Department of Nephrology & Rheumatology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine.
Department of Nephrology, Yancheng Third People's Hospital.


Although some new drugs have been developed, Tripterygium wilfordii HOOK F. (TWHF) has the merits of relatively lower price and fewer side effects. Unfortunately, the efficacy and safety of the TWHF (especially dosage 120 mg/d) in the immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN) are still lacking. A cohort study including 49 IgAN patients with heavy proteinuria who received induction therapy was undertaken. Patients were divided into three groups: Prednisone (PRE), conventional-dose TWHF (CTW) and double-dose TWHF (DTW). The clinical features, laboratory data, histological manifestations and outcomes of the groups were compared. We found that urinary protein excretion and rates of elevated n-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) and retinol binding protein (RBP) were prominent in all groups. Neither histopathological changes nor the rates of renal insufficiency were significantly different among groups. Patients in the PRE (69.2%) and DTW groups (87.5%) achieved complete remission; none of the CTW group did. Furthermore, the total remission rate of the DTW group was substantially higher than that of the CTW group. The degree of hypoproteinemia, improved considerably in the PRE and DTW groups. Treatment was well tolerated in all patients, and no serious adverse events were observed. Our findings suggested that induction therapy with double dose TWHF significantly improved response rates in IgAN patients with heavy proteinuria, and did not considerably increase side effects.


Chinese traditional; immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy; proteinuria

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