Therapies for steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome
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Between 10 and 20% of children with primary nephrotic syndrome are steroid-resistant (SRNS). From earlier studies in children with SRNS, we know that cyclosporin (with or without alternate-day prednisone) and cyclophosphamide (with pulse intravenous corticosteroids) result in comparable complete or partial remission rates of about 60%. An evaluation of the relative effectiveness of cyclophosphamide and cyclosporin has not been possible because of the absence of a head-to-head randomised trial. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Pädiatrische Nephrologie trial, published in this issue of Pediatric Nephrology, has filled this gap in our evidence base. Although there was no difference in the number of patients achieving complete remission, those patients receiving cyclosporin treatment were significantly more likely to achieve partial remission than those receiving intravenous cyclophosphamide. This result suggests that cyclosporin rather than cyclophosphamide should be used as first line therapy for children with SRNS.