Successful treatment with retinoids in patients with lupus nephritis

Am J Kidney Dis. 2010 Feb;55(2):344-7. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2009.06.012. Epub 2009 Jul 23.


Lupus nephritis is a major manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus. Treatment with such immunosuppressive agents as corticosteroids or cyclophosphamide can decrease the progression of lupus nephritis; however, these agents have potentially severe adverse reactions. Therefore, the development of new drugs with fewer side effects is needed. Here, we report 2 patients with lupus that were treated successfully with retinoids. Initially, both patients were treated with 60 mg/d of prednisolone. However, nephrotic syndrome was not improved. Subsequently, treatment with 10 mg/d of all-trans-retinoic acid was started orally and elicited a good response, showing a decrease in proteinuria. Although additional controlled clinical studies are needed to confirm these findings, we suggest that therapy using retinoids may represent a novel approach to the treatment of patients with lupus nephritis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lupus Nephritis / drug therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Tretinoin / therapeutic use*


  • Tretinoin