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Ann Intern Med. 1996 Oct 1;125(7):549-57.

Methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide, alone or in combination, in patients with lupus nephritis. A randomized, controlled trial.

Author information

1
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Uncertainty exists about the efficacy and toxicity of bolus therapy with methylprednisolone or of the combination of methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide in the treatment of lupus nephritis.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine 1) whether intensive bolus therapy with methylprednisolone is an adequate substitute for bolus therapy with cyclophosphamide and 2) whether the combination of methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide is superior to bolus therapy with methylprednisolone or cyclophosphamide alone.

DESIGN:

Randomized, controlled trial with at least 5 years of follow-up.

SETTING:

Government referral-based research hospital.

PATIENTS:

82 patients with lupus nephritis who had 10 or more erythrocytes per high-power field, cellular casts, proteinuria (> 1 g of protein per day), and a renal biopsy specimen that showed proliferative nephritis.

INTERVENTIONS:

Bolus therapy with methylprednisolone (1 g/m2 body surface area), given monthly for at least 1 year; bolus therapy with cyclophosphamide (0.5 to 1.0 g/m2 body surface area), given monthly for 6 months and then quarterly; or bolus therapy with both methylprednisolone and cyclophosphamide.

MEASUREMENTS:

1) Renal remission (defined as < 10 dysmorphic erythrocytes per high-power field, the absence of cellular casts, and excretion of < 1 g of protein per day without doubling of the serum creatinine level), 2) prevention of doubling of the serum creatinine level, and 3) prevention of renal failure requiring dialysis.

RESULTS:

Renal remission occurred in 17 of 20 patients in the combination therapy group (85%), 13 of 21 patients in the cyclophosphamide group (62%), and 7 of 24 patients in the methylprednisolone group (29%) (P < 0.001). Twenty-eight patients (43%) did not achieve renal remission. By life-table analysis, the likelihood of remission during the study period was greater in the combination therapy group than in the methylprednisolone group (P = 0.028). Combination therapy and cyclophosphamide therapy were not statistically different. Adverse events were amenorrhea (seen in 41% of the cyclophosphamide group, 43% of the combination therapy group, and 7.4% of the methylprednisolone group), cervical dysplasia (seen in 11% of the cyclophosphamide group. 7.1% of the combination therapy group, and 0% of the methylprednisolone group), avascular necrosis (seen in 11% of the cyclophosphamide group, 18% of the combination therapy group, and 22% of the methylprednisolone group), herpes zoster (seen in 15% of the cyclophosphamide group, 21% of the combination therapy group, and 3.7% of the methylprednisolone group) and at least one infection (seen in 26% of the cyclophosphamide group. 32% of the combination therapy group, and 7.4% of the methylprednisolone group).

CONCLUSIONS:

Monthly bolus therapy with methylprednisolone was less effective than monthly bolus therapy with cyclophosphamide. A trend toward greater efficacy with combination therapy was seen.

Comment in

PMID:
8815753
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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