INTRODUCTION: It is recommended that IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is treated with steroids when the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is >50ml/min and proteinuria >1g/day. Few studies have been performed comparing the two accepted steroid regimens (1g/day methylprednisolone pulses for 3 consecutive days at the beginning of months 1, 3 and 5, followed by 0.5mg/kg prednisolone on alternate days vs. 1mg/kg/day oral prednisolone). The aim of this study was to compare these two steroid regimens in IgAN treatment.
METHODS: We selected 39 patients with biopsy-proven IgAN treated with steroids. Mean age at diagnosis was 37.5 years, 23 males (59%), baseline proteinuria (Uprot) was 2.1 g/day and median serum creatinine (SCr) was 1.5mg/dl. The mean follow-up period was 56 months. Twenty-five patients (64%) were treated with methylprednisolone pulses and 14 (36%) with oral steroids.
RESULTS: Patients treated with steroid pulses presented lower relapse risk, defined as the reappearance of Uprot >1g/day and an Uprot increase of more than 50% (incidence rate ratio of 0.18, 95% CI 0.02-0.5). The Kaplan-Meier analysis showed longer relapse-free period (p=0.019). This result was confirmed in a multivariate analysis (p=0.026). However, we did not find other differences between the two steroid regimens.
CONCLUSIONS: In comparison to oral steroids, the intravenous pulse regimen was associated with a lower risk of relapse in IgAN, a known independent negative predictor of renal survival. No differences were found regarding the other renal outcomes.
- IgA nephropathy
- Steroid regimens
- Renal survival