Objective: To assess prospectively the safety and efficacy of a 36-month course of systematic bolus intravenous cyclophosphamide therapy (IVCY) for children with lupus nephritis.
Study design: Sixteen children with lupus nephritis were treated with IVCY for 36 months. Renal biopsies performed before and after treatment were scored for activity and chronicity. SLEDAI scores, laboratory measures, and prednisone dosage were recorded at the time of each treatment.
Results: After 36 months of IVCY therapy, the renal biopsy activity index decreased from 9 +/- 4 to 1 +/- 1 (P <.001) without a change in chronicity. The mean creatinine clearance increased from 90 +/- 23 to 107 +/- 23 mL/min/1.73 mol/L(2) (P <.01), and the mean 24-hour urine protein excretion decreased from 2.0 +/- 2.4 g/24 h to 0.5 +/- 0.7 g/24 h (P <.05). The mean SLEDAI score decreased from 19 +/- 5.2 to 2.9 +/- 3.1 (P <.001). The mean prednisone dosage decreased from 35.5 +/- 20 mg/d to 14.0 +/- 3 mg/d (P <.001). No significant complications occurred.
Conclusions: Thirty-six months of systematic IVCY therapy led to decreased renal biopsy activity without progression of chronicity, with excellent disease control and a greater than 50% reduction in mean corticosteroid dose.