Because of its rarity, renal presentation and outcomes of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS; minimal changes disease or focal and segmental glomerulosclerosis) has poorly been described in elderly patients, precluding an individualized therapy procedure. Whether immunosuppressive regimens formerly designed in children and young adults are safe and efficient in elderly remains elusive. In a large multicentric retrospective study that included 116 patients with INS and onset ≥ 60 years of age, we showed that cumulative incidence of renal response was 95% after frontline therapy, with an age-dependent median time-to-response (60 days before 70 years of age at the onset vs. 120 days after; p = 0.03). Cumulative incidence of relapse was 90% at 7 years, with relapse occurring continuously over time. After a median follow-up of 34 months (IQR (12; 57)), 7 patients had died (6%) and 5 reached end-stage renal disease. Complications were highly prevalent: diabetes mellitus (23.3%), hypertension (24.1%), infection requiring hospitalization (21.6%) and acute kidney injury (9.5%). Thus, in older patients with INS and receiving steroids, renal response is delayed and relapse is the rule. Alternative immunosuppressive regimens, including B-cells depleting agents as frontline therapy, should be tested in this subset of patients to improve the mid- to long-term outcomes.
Keywords: focal segmental glomerulosclerosis; infection; minimal change disease; older patients; rituximab.