Early response to immunosuppressive therapy predicts good renal outcome in lupus nephritis: Lessons from long-term followup of patients in the Euro-Lupus Nephritis Trial
Article first published online: 8 DEC 2004
Copyright © 2004 by the American College of Rheumatology
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Volume 50, Issue 12, pages 3934–3940, December 2004
How to Cite
Houssiau, F. A., Vasconcelos, C., D'Cruz, D., Sebastiani, G. D., de Ramon Garrido, E., Danieli, M. G., Abramovicz, D., Blockmans, D., Mathieu, A., Direskeneli, H., Galeazzi, M., Gül, A., Levy, Y., Petera, P., Popovic, R., Petrovic, R., Sinico, R. A., Cattaneo, R., Font, J., Depresseux, G., Cosyns, J.-P. and Cervera, R. (2004), Early response to immunosuppressive therapy predicts good renal outcome in lupus nephritis: Lessons from long-term followup of patients in the Euro-Lupus Nephritis Trial. Arthritis & Rheumatism, 50: 3934–3940. doi: 10.1002/art.20666
- Issue published online: 8 DEC 2004
- Article first published online: 8 DEC 2004
- Manuscript Accepted: 23 AUG 2004
- Manuscript Received: 10 MAR 2004
- European League Against Rheumatism
In the Euro-Lupus Nephritis Trial (ELNT), 90 patients with lupus nephritis were randomly assigned to a high-dose intravenous cyclophosphamide (IV CYC) regimen (6 monthly pulses and 2 quarterly pulses with escalating doses) or a low-dose IV CYC regimen (6 pulses of 500 mg given at intervals of 2 weeks), each of which was followed by azathioprine (AZA). After a median followup of 41 months, a difference in efficacy between the 2 regimens was not observed. The present analysis was undertaken to extend the followup and to identify prognostic factors.
Renal function was prospectively assessed quarterly in all 90 patients except 5 who were lost to followup. Survival curves were derived using the Kaplan-Meier method.
After a median followup of 73 months, there was no significant difference in the cumulative probability of end-stage renal disease or doubling of the serum creatinine level in patients who received the low-dose IV CYC regimen versus those who received the high-dose regimen. At long-term followup, 18 patients (8 receiving low-dose and 10 receiving high-dose treatment) had developed permanent renal impairment and were classified as having poor long-term renal outcome. We demonstrated by multivariate analysis that early response to therapy at 6 months (defined as a decrease in serum creatinine level and proteinuria <1 gm/24 hours) was the best predictor of good long-term renal outcome.
Long-term followup of patients from the ELNT confirms that, in lupus nephritis, a remission-inducing regimen of low-dose IV CYC followed by AZA achieves clinical results comparable with those obtained with a high-dose regimen. Early response to therapy is predictive of good long-term renal outcome.