Intravenous methylprednisolone in idiopathic childhood nephrotic syndrome

Pediatr Nephrol. 2010 May;25(5):899-903. doi: 10.1007/s00467-009-1417-1. Epub 2010 Jan 27.


The aim of our study was to determine the clinical course of children with idiopathic childhood nephrotic syndrome (ICNS) who received intravenous methylprednisolone (ivMP) following failure to achieve remission with standard oral prednisolone therapy. This study was designed as a retrospective case record review from 1993 to 2007. Sixteen children received ivMP over the 15-year study period, of whom ten responded, achieving clinical remission. The remaining six children with steroid resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) underwent biopsy [four focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), two minimal change disease (MCD)]. Three responders developed late secondary steroid resistance (two FSGS, one MCD). At the latest follow-up (mean 6.7 years), three of the ten ivMP responders and none (0/6) of the children with SRNS had heavy proteinuria and chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3-5. The remaining 13 children demonstrated significant steroid dependency but had achieved stable remission following cyclophosphamide and/or ciclosporin therapy. The majority of children with ICNS who do not respond to 4 weeks of daily prednisolone therapy will enter remission following three to five doses of ivMP, thus avoiding a renal biopsy at initial presentation. These children are likely to develop steroid dependency, and the majority will require treatment with alkylating agents and/or ciclosporin to maintain remission. The requirement for ivMP in this setting appears to be associated with a risk of developing CKD in the longer term.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Age of Onset
  • Biopsy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Resistance
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / pathology
  • Prednisolone / administration & dosage
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Prednisolone
  • Methylprednisolone