Combined immunosuppressive treatment (CIST) in lupus nephritis: a multicenter, randomized controlled study
The standard strategy for treating lupus nephritis comprises glucocorticoids together with either intravenous cyclophosphamide or oral mycophenolate mofetil, but the low remission rate is still a challenge in practice. This study was aimed to seek higher remission rate of lupus nephritis using a combined strategy.
A 24-week trial was conducted in 17 rheumatology or nephrology centers in China. A total of 191 lupus nephritis patients were randomized to follow a combined immunosuppressive treatment (CIST) with intravenous cyclophosphamide, an oral immunosuppressive agent, namely mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine or leflunomide, and hydroxychloroquine (n = 95), or receive intravenous cyclophosphamide alone (n = 96) for 24 weeks. Glucocorticoid was given to both groups. The primary end point was a complete remission with a most stringent standard as proteinuria < 150 mg per 24 h, normal urinary sediment, serum albumin, and renal function at 24 weeks. The secondary end point was treatment failure at 24 weeks.
At week 24, both the rate of complete remission (39.5%) and total response (87.2%) was higher in the combined group, compared with CYC group (20.8% and 68.8%, p < 0.05). The cumulative probability of complete remission was also higher in the combined group (p = 0.013). In addition, the combined treatment was superior to routine CYC with less treatment failure (12.8% vs.31.2%, p < 0.001). No difference was found between the incidences of severe adverse events in the two arms: 3.2% (3/95 combined group) vs.4.2% (4/96 CYC group).
Treatment with a combined immunosuppressive agent is superior to routine CYC only therapy in lupus nephritis.
KeywordsImmunosuppressive agents Lupus nephritis Remission inducing Systemic lupus erythematosus
We thank Hongyuan Wang (School of Public Health, Peking University) and Chunfang Zhang (Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Peking University People’s Hospital) for statistical support and interpretation of the data.
Role of the funder/sponsor
The funder had no role in collecting, analyzing, or interpreting the data, writing the report, or deciding to submit the paper for publication. All authors had full access to all of the data, made the decision to submit these data for publication, and agreed on the final content of the paper.
This study was funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program) (No. 2014CB541901).
Compliance with ethical standards
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