Comparison of Efficacy of Tacrolimus Versus Cyclosporine in Childhood Steroid-Resistant Nephrotic Syndrome

J Coll Physicians Surg Pak. 2016 Jul;26(7):589-93.


Objective: To compare the efficacy of tacrolimus versus cyclosporine (Calcineurin Inhibitors) in the management of childhood steroid-resistant nephritic syndrome (SRNS).

Study design: Quasi-experimental study.

Place and duration of study: Department of Paediatric Nephrology at The Children's Hospital and Institute of Child Health, Lahore, from August 2014 to September 2015.

Methodology: Patients of either gender aged 1 - 12 years, with the diagnosis of mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis (MesangioPGN), focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) or minimal-change disease (MCD) were included. Patients were assigned into two groups, one given tacrolimus in dose of 0.1 - 0.2 mg/kg/day in two divided doses, and other given cyclosporine in dose of 150 - 200 mg/m2/day in two divided doses along with oral steroids 30 mg/m2/day in divided doses, followed by alternate day with tapering dosage. Trough drug levels were done with dose adjustment accordingly. Patients were monitored and followed for the response to treatment and adverse effects of these two calcineurin inhibitors.

Results: Atotal of 84 patients, 58% males and 42% females, were included in the study. The age ranged from 1.25 to 12 years. The most common histopathological diagnosis was MesangioPGN (69.04%), FSGS (21.4%), and MCD (9.52%). Complete response was seen in 80.95% and 97.6% patients treated with cyclosporine and tacrolimus, respectively. Partial response was in 19.05% patients treated with cyclosporine and 2.4% in patients with tacrolimus. The most common adverse effect with cyclosporine and tacrolimus was hypertrichosis in 80.95% and 2.38%, hypertension 16.66% and 11.9% respectively while gum hypertrophy with cyclosporine was seen in 26.19% patients.

Conclusion: Tacrolimus was more efficacious than cyclosporine in achieving remission in childhood SRNS with insignificant adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / blood
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / pathology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / urine
  • Remission Induction
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage
  • Tacrolimus / pharmacology
  • Tacrolimus / therapeutic use*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Creatinine
  • Tacrolimus