Background: Cyclosporine and prednisolone combination therapy has been used in the treatment of minimal change nephrotic syndrome (MCNS). However, few studies have evaluated the efficacy of cyclosporine combined with intravenous methylprednisolone pulse therapy (MPT) as a first-line treatment for new-onset MCNS. We conducted a retrospective clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of cyclosporine combined with MPT and oral prednisolone for new-onset MCNS in adults.
Methods: Forty-six adult patients with biopsy-proven MCNS were analyzed retrospectively. This study included three groups. Group 1 (n = 17) was treated with intravenous MPT (0.5 or 1.0 g/day for 3 days) followed by oral cyclosporine (2-3 mg/kg/day) and prednisolone (30 mg/day). Group 2 (n = 15) was treated with intravenous MPT followed by oral prednisolone (0.4-0.8 mg/kg/day). Group 3 (n = 14) was treated with oral prednisolone (0.6-1.0 mg/kg/day) alone.
Results: The length of hospital stay was the shortest in Group 1 (P < 0.001). The mean duration to achieve <20 mg/day of prednisolone was also the shortest in Group 1 (P < 0.05). Complete remission rates were 100 % in Group 1, 85.7 % in Group 2, and 69.2 % in Group 3 during the 9-month follow-up (P = 0.073). The rate of adverse effects caused by prednisolone was less in Group 1 (P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis revealed that the independent determinants of durations of remission were the selectivity index (P = 0.004), eGFR (P = 0.001) and the use of cyclosporine (P = 0.045).
Conclusions: Combination therapy with cyclosporine may be a beneficial treatment option for new-onset MCNS in adults because of its clinical efficacy and safety.