Objective: To assess the efficacy of pulse/synchronization cyclophosphamide/apheresis in patients with proliferative lupus nephritis.
Methods: Eighteen patients with Class III or IV renal biopsies and chronicity indices <6 were prospectively randomized to receive 6 courses of parenteral cyclophosphamide over 8 months along with prednisone. Nine of these patients also received 3 daily plasmaphereses prior to each of the 6 courses of cyclophosphamide. Assessments compiled at 6 and 24 months included serum creatinine, albumin, anti DNA, 24-hour urine protein, and C3 complement along with SLAM scores.
Results: Two out of nine patients in each group evolved end stage renal disease and 3/9 patients in each group went into a renal remission at 24 months. Serum albumin, C3 complement, and SLAM scores improved in both groups, and anti-DNA improved in the pulse/synchronization patients (P < 0.025). No intergroup comparisons were significant.
Conclusion: The addition of pulse/synchronization apheresis to cyclophosphamide therapy does not improve the course of patients with proliferative lupus nephritis.