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Outcomes of multitarget therapy using mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus for refractory or relapsing lupus nephritis

Outcomes of multitarget therapy using mycophenolate mofetil and tacrolimus for refractory or relapsing lupus nephritis
Systemic lupus erythematosus; nephritis; mycophenolate mofetil; tactolimus; multitarget therapy
Issue Date
LUPUS, v. 27, no. 6, page. 1007-1011
Objectives: Outcomes of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have significantly improved over the years. However, when there is major organ involvement, the outcomes can still be unfavorable. Outcomes of multitarget therapy using mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and tacrolimus in patients with SLE who were refractory to standard therapy were assessed. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the Hanyang BAE lupus cohort to identify patients with biopsy-confirmed lupus nephritis (classes III, IV, or V) who failed to either achieve complete response with standard induction therapy or those who had a lupus flare after achieving a complete response with conventional induction therapy and subsequently were switched to multitarget combination therapy with MMF and tacrolimus. Outcomes, including renal response, proteinuria, glomerular filtration rate, serum albumin, anti-dsDNA antibody level, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI), and complements, were assessed at six and 12 months. Results: Twenty-nine patients, including 12 who failed to achieve a complete response at 12 months after initial conventional induction therapy and 17 with lupus flare after achieving a complete response at 12 months and treated with multitarget therapy, were included in the analysis. At six months, 53.9% of the patients showed a response, with 15.4% of patients showing a complete response and 38.5% of patients showing a partial response. At 12 months, 55.5% of patients exhibited a response (with complete and partial response in 25.9% and 29.6%, respectively). The dosage of steroids was significantly decreased at six months compared with baseline and was maintained at 12 months. Proteinuria, anti-double-stranded DNA antibody positivity, as well as C3 and C4 levels improved after treatment and persisted until 12 months, but were not significant. SLEDAI also improved. Outcomes were significantly better in patients who had a complete response but later had a flare, resulting in the use of multitarget therapy and achieving a subsequent complete response. Conclusions: Multitarget therapy with MMF and tacrolimus can be a reasonable option in refractory lupus nephritis patients who failed to show adequate response to conventional induction therapy or who had flares during maintenance therapy. This treatment can help patients achieve a renal response and reduce the use of steroids.
0961-2033; 1477-0962
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