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Abstract: TH-PO989

A Prospective Study on Long-Term Clinical Outcomes of Patients With Lupus Nephritis Treated With an Intensified B-Cell Depletion Protocol Without Maintenance Therapy

Session Information

Category: Glomerular Diseases

  • 1302 Glomerular Diseases: Immunology and Inflammation


  • Roccatello, Dario, CMID-Nephrology and Dialysis Unit (ERK-net Member), Center of Research of Immunopathology and Rare Diseases, Coordinating Center of the Network for Rare Diseases of Piedmont and Aosta Valley, Department of Clinical and Biological Sciences, University of Turin and S. Giovanni Bosco Hub Hospital, Turin, Italy

We aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of an intensified B-cell depletion induction therapy (IBCDT) without immunosuppressive maintenance regimen compared with standard of care in biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (LN).


Thirty patients were administered an IBCDT (4 weekly rituximab [RTX] 375 mg/m2 and 2 more doses after 1 and 2 months; 2 infusions of 10 mg/kg cyclophosphamide [CYC], 3 methylprednisolone pulses), followed by oral prednisone (tapered to 5 mg/d by the third month). No immunosuppressive maintenance therapy was given. Thirty patients matched for LN class and age were selected as controls: 20 received 3 methylprednisolone pulses days followed by oral prednisone and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) 2 to 3 g/d, whereas 10 were given the Euro Lupus CYC. MMF (1-2 g/daily) or azathioprine (AZA, 1-2 mg/kg/day) were given for > 3 years as a maintenance therapy.


At 12 months, complete renal remission was observed in 93% of patients on IBCDT, in 62.7% on MMF, and in 75% on CYC (P = 0.03); the dose of oral prednisone was lower in the IBCDT group (mean ± SD 2.9 ± 5.0 mg/dl) than MMF (10.5 ± 8.0 mg/d, P < 0.01) or CYC group (7.5 ± 9.0 mg/d, P < 0.01). Mean follow-up after treatment was 44.5 months (interquartile range [IQR] 36-120 months), 48.6 months (IQR 36-120 months), and 45.3 (IQR 36-120 months) for IBCDT, MMF, and CYC, respectively. At their last follow-up visit, we observed no significant differences in proteinuria and serum creatinine, nor in the frequency of new flares among the 3 groups.


In biopsy-proven LN, the IBCDT without further immunosuppressive maintenance therapy was shown to be as effective as conventional regimen of MMF or CYC followed by >3-year maintenance either MMF or AZA regimen. Moreover, the use of IBCDT was associated with a marked reduction of glucocorticoid cumulative dose.

Time free from flares curves in patients treated with IBCDT, MMF, or CYC. CYC, cyclophosphamide; IBCDT, intensified B-cell depletion induction therapy; MMF, mycophenolate mofetil.