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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2012 August;103(4):235-51

language: English

Recent news in the treatment of lupus nephritis

Tesar V., Hruskova Z.

Department of Nephrology, 1st School of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


Patient survival and renal survival of patients with lupus nephritis improved, but still in a significant proportion of patients the disease progresses to end-stage renal failure, possibly at least partly due to slow and incomplete response to induction treatment and high relapse rate on the maintenance treatment. Mycophenolate mofetil was recently demonstrated to be a comparably effective and safe induction treatment of lupus nephritis as high-dose cyclophosphamide pulses, in Caucasian patients it has become a reasonable alternative to low-dose cyclophosphamide pulses according to the EUROLUPUS protocol. Mycophenolate was shown to be more effective than azathioprine in the maintenance treatment and is currently the treatment of choice for this phase of the disease. Rituximab should be reserved for patients refractory (or intolerant) to cyclophosphamide and/or mycophenolate. Therapy of lupus nephritis should be individually tailored; more aggressive therapy should be reserved for patients at high risk for renal dysfunction and its progression.

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vladimir.tesar @vfn.cz