Short term efficacy of intravenous dexamethasone and methylprednisolone therapy in steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome

Indian Pediatr. 2004 Oct;41(10):993-1000.


Objective: To compare the short term efficacy of intravenous pulses of methylprednisolone and dexamethasone in treatment of steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome in children.

Method: We prospectively treated 81 children with idiopathic steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome with six alternate-day pulses of intravenous dexamethasone (5 mg/kg) or methylprednisolone (30 mg/kg). Fifty-nine patients received dexamethasone and 22 were treated with methylprednisolone. Two patients in dexamethasone and one in methylprednisolone group developed serious infection during administration of alternate-day pulses and could not complete the therapy.

Results: The median age at treatment was 38 (36-74.7) months. Of patients who completed therapy, 20 (35.1 percent) (95 PERCNT CI 22.9-48.9) and 7 (33.1 percent) (95 percent CI 14.6-56.9) patients in dexamethasone and methylprednisolone group, respectively achieved complete remission. Following alternate day pu1ses the median urinary albumin to creatinine ratio decreased from 9.2 to 1.5 (P less tha 0.005) in dexamethasone group and from 12.1 to 0.7 (P less than 0.005) in methylprednisolone group. The median reduction in urinary albumin to creatinine ratio was 54.1 PERCNT (95 percent CI 32.7- 83.9) and 63.2 percent (95 percent CI 23.5- 100) in dexamethasone and methylprednisolone group respectively. The chief side effects of therapy were transient hypertension or worsening of preexisting hypertension, which occurred in 31 (54.4 percent) patients in dexamethasone group and 10 (47.6 percent) in the methylprednisolone group. The hypertension was satisfactorily controlled on antihypertensive drugs. One or more side effects were observed in 66.7 percent (95 percent CI 52.9-78.6) children receiving dexamethasone therapy and 61.9percent (95 percent CI 38.4-81.9) receiving methylprednisolone, which was comparable.

Conclusions: We conclude that intravenous dexamethasone is as effective as methylprednisolone in inducing remission in patients with steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Pulse Therapy, Drug


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Dexamethasone
  • Methylprednisolone