Objective. To determine the efficacy of low-dose methotrexate (MTX) plus prednisone in the treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis (WG).
Methods. An open-label study of weekly low-dose MTX plus prednisone for the treatment of WG was performed. Forty-two patients who did not have immediately life-threatening disease were enrolled into the study. Outcome was determined by clinical characteristics and pathologic, laboratory, and radiographic findings.
Results. Weekly administration of MTX and prednisone resulted in remission of disease in 30 of the 42 patients (71%). The median time to remission was 4.2 months. The estimated median time to relapse for all patients in whom remission was achieved was 29 months. Eight patients who had relapses were treated with a second course of MTX plus prednisone, and a second remission was induced in 6 of the 8 (75%).
Conclusion. Weekly low-dose MTX was shown in this study to be an acceptable alternative form of therapy for selected patients with WG who do not have immediately life-threatening disease or who have developed serious cyclophosphamide-associated toxicity.