The benefits of steroid therapy in immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN) have not been established.Methods
The effect of steroids on kidney survival was retrospectively investigated in 702 patients with IgAN by multivariate analyses.Results
There were 295 men and 407 women. The median follow-up period was 62 months. One hundred and ninety-four patients were treated with oral steroids (oral steroid group). Thirty-four patients were treated with methylprednisolone (mPSL) pulse therapy (pulse steroid group) followed by oral prednisolone (PSL). In 474 patients, no steroid was used (no steroid group). The urinary protein-creatinine ratio and histological grade were significantly different among treatment groups and were highest in the pulse steroid group followed by the oral steroid group and lowest in the no steroid patients. Serum creatinine was significantly higher in the pulse steroid group than in other two groups. Eighty-five patients developed end-stage renal failure (ESRF) requiring haemodialysis. In multivariate analysis, steroid pulse therapy significantly decreased the risk of ESRF while oral steroid treatment did not improve renal survival in this cohort.Conclusion
We found that pulse steroid therapy improved kidney survivals in IgAN. Since the clinical findings and histological grade were the most severe in patients treated with mPSL pulse therapy, such therapy may prevent progression of IgAN.