Background: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a chronic glomerular disease that causes end-stage renal disease in 20-40 % of patients within 20 years. The efficacy of tonsillectomy combined with steroid pulse (SP) administration (TSP) for clinical remission of IgAN has been reported. Particularly in Japan, TSP has been performed widely. However, the optimum method for steroid administration in TSP has not been established.
Methods: We retrospectively compared clinical remission in IgAN patients treated with tonsillectomy combined with two different steroid administration methods: (1) three courses of SP therapy and oral prednisolone administered on alternate days (group 3A; n = 25); and (2) one course of SP therapy and oral prednisolone administered on consecutive days (group 1C; n = 22).
Results: There was no significant difference in the clinical remission rates between the two groups at 12 (48.0 vs. 40.9 %, P = 0.77) and 24 months after starting treatment (68.0 vs. 72.7 %, P = 0.76) and at the final observation (76.0 vs. 81.8 %, P = 0.73). The mean period from starting treatment to remission of hematuria in group 3A was significantly shorter than that in group 1C (5.7 ± 4.4 vs. 9.9 ± 5.9 months, P = 0.03). Dyslipidemic patients treated for the first time with statin after the SP therapy were more present in group 3A at 24 months (P = 0.02).
Conclusions: In IgAN patients, treatment of group 3A may be effective for inducing rapid remission of hematuria. Further studies are needed to establish an appropriate protocol for TSP.
Keywords: IgA nephropathy; Steroid pulse therapy; Tonsillectomy; Treatment protocol.