Development of Nivolumab/Ipilimumab-Associated Autoimmune Nephritis during Steroid Therapy

Case Rep Nephrol Dial. 2021 Sep 9;11(3):270-274. doi: 10.1159/000517502. eCollection 2021 Sep-Dec.


Immunotherapy using immune checkpoint inhibitors revolutionized therapies for a variety of malignancies. Nivolumab, an antibody blocking programmed cell death 1 protein, and ipilimumab that blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 effectively target tumor cells by disinhibiting the endogenous immune response. At the same time, unrestrained T-cell activation may trigger a range of immune-mediated side effects including kidney injury. Steroid therapy constitutes the mainstay of treatment of these adverse events, but dosage, route of administration, and approach to nivolumab re-exposure remain unclear. Here, we report the case of a 72-year-old male patient who developed severe nivolumab/ipilimumab-associated acute kidney injury while on oral steroid therapy for immune-mediated colitis. Acute interstitial nephritis was confirmed by renal biopsy. Administration of high-dose intravenous steroid doses was required to revert declining renal function.

Keywords: Acute interstitial nephritis; Acute kidney injury; Autoimmune nephritis; Checkpoint inhibitor toxicity; Nivolumab.

Publication types

  • Case Reports