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Am J Nephrol. 2018;47(3):145-152. doi: 10.1159/000487330. Epub 2018 Mar 2.

Effects of Hydroxychloroquine on Proteinuria in Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy.



Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is a well-known immunomodulator that is useful as in the treatment for lupus because of its inhibitory effect on toll-like receptors and cytokines, which are speculated to play a role in the pathogenesis of Immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN). However, there was only one study that investigated the effect of HCQ on proteinuria in patients with IgAN.


Ninety patients with IgAN who received HCQ in addition to optimized dosage of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors (RAASi) were recruited for this study, and 90 matched historical controls who received RAASi alone were selected from our registry by the propensity score matching method. Their clinical data were compared at baseline and during follow-up till the termination of HCQ or addition of immunosuppressive agents.


The median baseline proteinuria level of the 90 patients who received HCQ was comparable with the RAASi-alone group (1.5 [1.2, 2.1] vs. 1.5 [1.2, 1.9] g/day, p = 0.74). At 6 months post-study initiation, the median proteinuria level in the HCQ group was lower than that in the RAASi-alone group (0.8 [0.7, 1.2] vs. 1.2 [0.8, 1.8] g/day, p = 0.02). The percentage by which proteinuria was reduced in the HCQ group was significantly higher than that in the RAASi-alone group (-43% [-57, -12] vs. -19% [-46, 17], p = 0.01). No serious adverse effects were documented during treatment with HCQ.


The addition of HCQ to RAASi resulted in a significant and safe reduction in proteinuria in patients with IgAN.


Hydroxychloroquine; Immunoglobulin A nephropathy; Proteinuria


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