Renal biopsy findings and followup of renal function in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with cyclosporin A. An update from the International Kidney Biopsy Registry

Arthritis Rheum. 1996 Sep;39(9):1491-8. doi: 10.1002/art.1780390908.


Objective: To review data from the International Kidney Biopsy Registry, which describes the occurrence of cyclosporin A (CSA)-induced nephropathy, and to discuss the potential risk factors for its development.

Methods: The report examines data on a total of 60 first and 14 second renal biopsies performed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with CSA for up to 87 months.

Results: Five of the 60 patients with RA included in the Biopsy Registry had findings consistent with CSA-induced nephropathy at first biopsy. One further patient had such findings at second biopsy. Of the 22 patients who started CSA at dosages < 4 mg/kg/day and subsequently received dosages no higher than 5 mg/kg/ day, none developed CSA-induced nephropathy. Continuous assessment of renal function did not show any evidence of deterioration over time in patients maintained on low-dose CSA.

Conclusion: The data indicate that in RA patients being treated according to current dosing recommendations, the risk of developing CSA-induced nephropathy is low.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antirheumatic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antirheumatic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Biopsy
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage
  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Kidney Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Cyclosporine
  • Creatinine