Plasma exchange and immunosuppression in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis: a controlled, multi-center study

Clin Nephrol. 1988 Jan;29(1):1-8.


In a randomized study of 26 patients with histologically confirmed rapidly progressive crescentic glomerulonephritis, 12 patients were treated with immunosuppressants alone (corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide and azathioprine) while the other 14 patients received not only the identical immunosuppressive treatment but also plasma exchange therapy for four weeks. No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups. After 8 weeks, 73% and 69% of the patients in each respective group showed recompensation of renal function; serum creatinine fell from initially 7.0 and 6.2 mg/dl mean to 2.7 and 2.3 mg/dl mean, and under continued immunosuppression did not rise in the following months. Thus, in non-autoantibody induced rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, kidney function could be improved substantially by immunosuppressive therapy, but an advantage of supplementary plasma exchange could not be shown.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Azathioprine / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Plasma Exchange*
  • Plasmapheresis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Azathioprine
  • Methylprednisolone