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Abstract: TH-PO457

Relevance of Anti-PLA2R Levels in Therapy Decision and Prediction of Therapy Outcome Using Cyclophosphamide and Steroid Treatment in Patients With Membranous Nephropathy

Session Information

Category: Glomerular Diseases

  • 1302 Glomerular Diseases: Immunology and Inflammation


  • Heckler, Ilana, EUROIMMUN US Inc, Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, United States

Detection of anti-phospholipase A2 receptor (PLA2R) antibodies in patients with primary membranous nephropathy (MN) supports diagnosis as well as disease monitoring. An individualised therapy approach was introduced for anti-PLA2R positive MN patients at the Radboud University Medical Center. Immunosuppressive treatment (cyclophosphamide combined with steroids) was stopped when anti-PLA2R results by indirect immunofluorescence testing (IIFT) became negative. Here, we evaluated the relevance of anti-PLA2R levels for therapeutic decisions and the outcome of MN, comparing qualitative and quantitative detection methods.


Stored serum samples were retrieved for beginning of treatment (baseline), decision point, and follow-up. Anti-PLA2R levels were determined qualitatively by IIFT as well as quantitatively by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and chemiluminescence immunoassay (ChLIA) at baseline as well as after treatment and correlated to immunological remission and persistence.


Patients sampled at the beginning of the therapy were grouped according to tertiles of anti-PLA2R levels determined by ChLIA (n[lowest tertile] = 20, n[middle tertile] = 20, n[highest tertile] = 20). Lower anti-PLA2R levels were seen in patients with relapsing disease. Higher anti-PLA2R levels were associated with more severe proteinuria. Patients in the lowest tertile of anti-PLA2R were more likely to develop immunological remission after 8 weeks of therapy.
At baseline, 50/50 (100%) tested positive in IIFT and ChLIA as well as 48/50 (94%) in ELISA. After 8 weeks on treatment, immunological remission based on IIFT was found in 37/51 (73%) patients. At this point, the overall agreement compared to IIFT was 92% for ChLIA and 82% for ELISA. With ChLIA, anti-PLA2R titers >5 RU/mL after 8 weeks of therapy were found in 4% of IIFT negative patients with persistent remission, vs 55% of IIFT negative patients with early relapse (p=0.006).


Individualised treatment of MN patients with cyclophosphamide and steroids has been recently introduced. In this respect, the quantitative determination of anti-PLA2R levels adds further value. Of the examined quantitative methods, ChLIA demonstrated the highest agreement with IIFT. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the impact on clinical decision making and outcome.