Relapses are common in children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, and this prospective study looks into the possibility of decreasing the frequency of relapses in a selected group of such patients. The study includes 36 children with a steroid-dependent, relapsing nephrotic syndrome on a maintenance prednisone therapy of about 0.5 mg/kg every other day. They were prospectively divided into two groups with comparable age and sex distribution and the number of those who had previously received cyclophosphamide therapy. Group 1 patients were advised to take daily prednisone for 5 days, starting at the time of the onset of an upper respiratory tract infection (URI). No such advice was given to those in group 2, and they remained on alternate-day prednisone during URI. At the end of a 2-year follow-up period, the total number of relapses in group 1 was 40 with a mean of 2.2 +/- 0.87 per patient as compared with 99 with a mean of 5.5 +/- 1.33 per patient in group 2 (p = 0.04). We conclude that an increased maintenance prednisone during URI helps decrease significantly the number of relapses in those on alternate-day therapy.
Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel