A multicenter randomized controlled trial of tonsillectomy combined with steroid pulse therapy in patients with immunoglobulin A nephropathy

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2014 Aug;29(8):1546-53. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfu020. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


Background: The study aim was, for the first time, to conduct a multicenter randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effect of tonsillectomy in patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN).

Methods: Patients with biopsy-proven IgAN, proteinuria and low serum creatinine were randomly allocated to receive tonsillectomy combined with steroid pulses (Group A; n = 33) or steroid pulses alone (Group B; n = 39). The primary end points were urinary protein excretion and the disappearance of proteinuria and/or hematuria.

Results: During 12 months from baseline, the percentage decrease in urinary protein excretion was significantly larger in Group A than that in Group B (P < 0.05). However, the frequency of the disappearance of proteinuria, hematuria, or both (clinical remission) at 12 months was not statistically different between the groups. Logistic regression analyses revealed the assigned treatment was a significant, independent factor contributing to the disappearance of proteinuria (odds ratio 2.98, 95% CI 1.01-8.83, P = 0.049), but did not identify an independent factor in achieving the disappearance of hematuria or clinical remission.

Conclusions: The results indicate tonsillectomy combined with steroid pulse therapy has no beneficial effect over steroid pulses alone to attenuate hematuria and to increase the incidence of clinical remission. Although the antiproteinuric effect was significantly greater in combined therapy, the difference was marginal, and its impact on the renal functional outcome remains to be clarified.

Keywords: clinical remission; estimated glomerular filtration rate; hematuria; proteinuria.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / physiopathology
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / therapy*
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Pulse Therapy, Drug
  • Remission Induction
  • Time Factors
  • Tonsillectomy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Methylprednisolone

Associated data

  • JPRN/C000000384