Rituximab in idiopathic membranous nephropathy

J Am Soc Nephrol. 2012 Aug;23(8):1416-25. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2012020181. Epub 2012 Jul 19.


Selective depletion of B cells with the mAb rituximab may benefit the autoimmune glomerular disease idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN). Here, we describe our experience treating 100 consecutive IMN patients with persistent nephrotic syndrome with rituximab. We defined complete remission as persistent proteinuria <0.3 g/24 h and partial remission as persistent proteinuria <3 g/24 h, each also having >50% reduction in proteinuria from baseline. During a median follow-up of 29 months after rituximab administration, 65 patients achieved complete or partial remission. The median time to remission was 7.1 months. All 24 patients who had at least 4 years of follow-up achieved complete or partial remission. Rates of remission were similar between patients with or without previous immunosuppressive treatment. Four patients died and four progressed to ESRD. Measured GFR increased by a mean 13.2 (SD 19.6) ml/min per 1.73 m(2) among those who achieved complete remission. Serum albumin significantly increased and albumin fractional clearance decreased among those achieving complete or partial remission. Proteinuria at baseline and the follow-up duration each independently predicted the decline of proteinuria. Furthermore, the magnitude of proteinuria reduction significantly correlated with slower GFR decline (P=0.0001). No treatment-related serious adverse events occurred. In summary, rituximab achieved disease remission and stabilized or improved renal function in a large cohort of high-risk patients with IMN.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / complications
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Lymphocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rituximab
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Murine-Derived
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Rituximab