European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 152, Issue 4, pp 357–361 | Cite as

Long versus standard prednisone therapy for initial treatment of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome in children

  • J. H. H. Ehrich
  • J. Brodehl
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pädiatrische Nephrologie


Two regimens of steroid treatment for the initial attack of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (NS) in children were compared in a controlled prospective multicentre study. Long prednisone therapy consisted of 60 mg/m2 per 24 h for 6 weeks, followed by alternate day 40 mg/m2 per 48 h for 6 weeks. The standard prednisone therapy was 60 mg/m2 per 24 h for 4 weeks, followed by 40 mg/m2 per 48 h for 4 weeks. A total of 71 children with an initial attack of idiopathic NS were allocated at random to the two groups. The cumulative rate of patients with sustained remissions after 2 years was significantly higher after the long course than after the standard treatment (49% vs 19%,P=0.0079). The mean relapse rate per patient at intervals of 3, 6 and 12 months was lower in the long-course prednisone group than in the standard prednisone group, and the proportion of children with frequent relapses during any subsequent 6 months period was lower in the long-course group than in the standard group (29% vs 57%,P=0.03). Mild side-effects of corticosteroid therapy were observed more frequently after long-course prednisone treatment. It is concluded that long-course prednisone therapy of the initial attack of steroid responsive NS is preferable to the standard regimen because it reduces the rate of subsequent relapses without increasing the risk for severe steroidal side-effects.

Key words

Steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome Prednisone 



nephrotic syndrome


International Study of Kidney Disease in Children


Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pädiatrische Nephrologie


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. H. Ehrich
    • 1
  • J. Brodehl
    • 1
  • Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pädiatrische Nephrologie
  1. 1.KinderklinikMedizinische HochschuleHannover 61Germany

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