Treatment for lupus nephritis: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Abstract

The aim is to systematically review the treatment for lupus nephritis (LN) by performing an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Electronic databases of OVID MEDLINE, OVID EMBASE, and Cochrane Library were searched to identify published systematic reviews and meta-analyses investigating treatments for LN up to 13 July 2016. A measurement tool to assess systematic reviews (AMSTAR) was used to assess the quality of included studies. Totally, 24 studies were included. Of the eligible studies, 3 studies were rated as poor quality, 11 as moderate, and 10 as good. In LN induction therapy, comparing to cyclophosphamide, tacrolimus had higher complete remission rate, response rate, and anti-dsDNA negative conversion rate and led to lower risks of gastrointestinal symptoms and amenorrhea, and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was associated with higher response rate and less adverse events of leucopenia, alopecia, and ovarian failure. However, there was no difference in the efficacy and adverse events between tacrolimus and MMF. In LN maintenance therapy, the relapse rate and leucopenia rate were lower in MMF group than in azathioprine group, but there were no differences of end-stage kidney disease rate and mortality rate between the two groups. For LN induction therapy, both Tacrolimus and MMF are more effective and safer than cyclophosphamide, while there are no differences of efficacy or safety between the two treatments. For LN maintenance therapy, MMF seems to have less adverse events and lower relapse rate than azathioprine.

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Acknowledgements

Yuehong Chen is funded by China Scholarship Council (Grant Number 201606240021). We do not have any other conflicts of interests to disclose.

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Correspondence to Gang Liu.

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Chen, Y., Sun, J., Zou, K. et al. Treatment for lupus nephritis: an overview of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Rheumatol Int 37, 1089–1099 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00296-017-3733-2

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Keywords

  • Cyclophosphamide
  • Lupus nephritis
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Overview
  • Systematic review
  • Tacrolimus