Experience with tacrolimus in children with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome
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Experience with tacrolimus in children with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome

  • Author(s): Butani, Lavjay
  • Ramsamooj, Rajendra
  • et al.

Children with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS) are at risk of developing renal failure. We report here the results of a single-center retrospective observational study of the remission rate in pediatric patients with SNRS receiving tacrolimus. Serial renal biopsies from children on tacrolimus therapy were evaluated for tubulointerstitial fibrosis and transforming growth factor-β immunostaining. Of the 16 children with SRNS, 15 went into complete remission after a median of 120 days of therapy. Nine children were able to stop steroids, while the others were on tapering doses. Forty-seven percent had relapses, most of which were steroid-responsive. Serial renal biopsies were obtained from seven children after a median treatment duration of 24 months; two of these children had increased tubulointerstitial fibrosis and four showed increased transforming growth factor-β tissue staining. Children with worsening histological findings were younger. There was no significant association between tacrolimus exposure and biopsy changes, although the average trough level was higher in those children with worsening histological findings. In conclusion, tacrolimus may be a safe and effective alternative agent for inducing remission in children with SRNS. However, caution needs to be taken when prescribing this agent due to its narrow therapeutic index. Serial renal biopsies are necessary to check for subclinical nephrotoxicity, especially in younger children and those with higher trough levels.

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