Long-term efficacy and safety of quadruple therapy in childhood diffuse proliferative lupus nephritis

Ren Fail. 2008;30(6):603-9. doi: 10.1080/08860220802132171.


In this study, we evaluated the frequency, clinical presentation, treatment protocols, prognostic factors, and outcome in children with diffuse proliferative lupus nephritis (DPLN). Between June 1990 and December 2004, 46 patients were diagnosed to have systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and 26 of them (56.5%) were found to have DPLN. Renal manifestations were present in 25 patients, and the majority of them presented with severe renal findings, such as nephrotic syndrome and renal failure. All patients were given a quadruple therapy protocol including 6-12 monthly courses of methyl prednisolone pulse therapy combined with oral prednisolone, oral cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, and dipyridamole. Nineteen of these patients were regularly followed up with a mean follow-up period of 5.9 years. Complete remission was achieved in 15 of 19 patients, and chronic renal failure developed in four patients. Renal survival rate was calculated to be 78.9% at the end of 5, 10, and 14 years. Although nephrotic range proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, renal failure, and activity index above 12/24 at presentation seemed to be associated with poor prognosis, no significant difference could be found. Hypertension and chronicity index greater than 6/12 were found to be bad prognostic predictors. We concluded that satisfactory results were achieved with our quadruple therapy protocol; thus, more aggressive and expensive therapies can be avoided and preserved for more serious and persistent diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • Azathioprine / administration & dosage
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Dipyridamole / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Lupus Nephritis / drug therapy*
  • Lupus Nephritis / mortality
  • Lupus Nephritis / pathology*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Probability
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Dipyridamole
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Azathioprine
  • Methylprednisolone