Idiopathic membranous nephropathy in children treated with rituximab: report of two cases

Pediatr Nephrol. 2018 Jun;33(6):1089-1092. doi: 10.1007/s00467-018-3923-5. Epub 2018 Mar 15.


Background: Idiopathic membranous nephropathy is an uncommon cause of nephrotic syndrome in children and can present treatment challenges. The current treatment options of steroids and cyclophosphamide, cyclosporine, or mycophenolate require prolonged treatment durations and the associated side effects may result in nonadherence in children, especially in adolescents.

Case-diagnosis: We report two adolescent patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy with nephrotic range proteinuria and elevated anti-phospholipase A2 receptor levels who did not achieve remission with steroids and were later treated with rituximab. Both patients received two doses of rituximab and responded with remission. In addition, anti-PLA2R antibody levels normalized and/or significantly improved.

Conclusions: Rituximab seems to be a safe and effective treatment option in children with idiopathic membranous nephropathy due to anti-PLA2R. Further studies are needed to evaluate this effectiveness.

Keywords: Anti-phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R); Children; Idiopathic membranous nephropathy; Rituximab.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, Membranous / drug therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Receptors, Phospholipase A2 / immunology
  • Rituximab / therapeutic use*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • PLA2R1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Phospholipase A2
  • Rituximab