Long-term followup of patients treated with total lymphoid irradiation for lupus nephritis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Genovese, M. C., Uhrin, Z., Bloch, D. A., Oehlert, J., Sibley, R. K., Myers, B., Strober, S. 2002; 46 (4): 1014-1018


To describe the long-term survival, renal condition, and morbidity outcomes in patients who received total lymphoid irradiation (TLI) for the treatment of lupus nephritis.Twenty-one patients with biopsy-proven, diffuse membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and significant proteinuria of >2.5 grams/day received TLI from 1980 to 1987 at Stanford University Medical Center. All patients had previously failed to respond to treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or therapy with corticosteroids plus immunosuppressive agents (azathioprine, cyclophosphamide, or chlorambucil).The mean duration of followup since TLI was 10.7 years. Fifteen of 21 patients (71%) remained alive at the time of this assessment. Nine of the 21 patients (43%) survived without developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The probability of long-term survival without ESRD and without need for additional immunosuppressive agents after TLI was 19% (4 of 21). Factors predicting renal failure at the time of TLI included elevated creatinine levels, increased interstitial fibrosis on renal biopsy, and increased fractional excretion of immunoglobulin and albumin. Malignancies were found in 4 patients, and opportunistic infections occurred in 7 patients.Overall, patients with lupus nephritis treated with TLI do not appear to have better 10-year survival with lower incidence of ESRD compared with patients in published series treated with conventional immunosuppressive therapies. However, in this series of patients, treatment with conventional immunosuppressive therapies had been unsuccessful and given the limited number of adverse events and the efficacy seen in some patients, TLI appears to be a reasonable therapeutic option for the treatment of severe lupus nephritis among patients who fail to respond under standard cytotoxic regimens.

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View details for PubMedID 11953979