Older boys benefit from higher initial prednisolone therapy for nephrotic syndrome. The West Japan Cooperative Study of Kidney Disease in Children

Kidney Int. 2000 Sep;58(3):1247-52. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1755.2000.00279.x.


Background: A long course of the initial prednisolone therapy has been shown to be more effective than standard-course therapy in reducing relapse rates in children with idiopathic nephrotic syndrome, but it is commonly accompanied by corticosteroid toxicities. There has been no study on prednisolone dosage for the effective treatment of nephrotic syndrome.

Methods: Sixty-eight children (42 boys and 26 girls) with an initial attack of nephrotic syndrome were randomly allocated into two different long-course treatment groups. Patients in Group 1 received a daily prednisolone dose of 60 mg/m2 for six weeks, followed by an alternate-day dose of 40 mg/m2 for six weeks. Patients in Group 2 had a daily dose of 40 mg/m2 instead of 60 mg/m2.

Results: Four children in each group did not respond within six weeks. Group 1 was associated with a significantly earlier response but more frequent corticosteroid toxicities than Group 2. Boys in Group 1 had a higher rate of sustained remission than boys in Group 2 (P = 0.0073), especially boys four years old or more (P = 0.0027), but girls did not show a significant difference (P = 0.863). Boys four years old or more in Group 1 had a course of frequent relapsing less often than those in Group 2 (2 of 13 vs. 6 of 8, P = 0.0075).

Conclusion: These findings indicate that efficient prednisolone doses may vary between sexes and ages, and that a higher initial prednisolone therapy may be of greater benefit to older boys.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Prednisolone / adverse effects
  • Proteinuria / drug therapy
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Prednisolone