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Clin Kidney J. 2015 Oct;8(5):489-91. doi: 10.1093/ckj/sfv076. Epub 2015 Aug 27.

Use of eculizumab in crescentic IgA nephropathy: proof of principle and conundrum?

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1
Department of Nephrology , Aalborg University Hospital , Aalborg , Denmark.
2
Department of Pathology , Aalborg University Hospital , Aalborg , Denmark.
3
Institute of Genetic Medicine , Newcastle University , Newcastle upon Tyne , UK.

Abstract

IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by a variable clinical course and multifaceted pathophysiology. There is substantial evidence to suggest that complement activation plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of the disease. Therefore, complement inhibition using the humanized anti-C5 monoclonal antibody eculizumab could be a rational treatment. We report here a 16-year-old male with the vasculitic form of IgAN who failed to respond to aggressive conventional therapy including high-dose steroids, cyclophosphamide and plasma exchange and who was treated with four weekly doses of 900 mg eculizumab followed by a single dose of 1200 mg. He responded rapidly to this treatment and has had a stable creatinine around 150 µmol/L (1.67 mg/dL) for >6 months. However, proteinuria was unabated on maximal conventional anti-proteinuric treatment, and a repeat renal biopsy 11 months after presentation revealed severe chronic changes. We believe this case provides proof of principle that complement inhibition may be beneficial in IgAN but also that development of chronicity may be independent of complement.

KEYWORDS:

IgA nephritis; complement; eculizumab; fibrosis

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