Mycophenolate mofetil and intravenous cyclophosphamide are similar as induction therapy for class v lupus nephritis
Class V lupus nephritis (LN) occurs in one-fifth of biopsy-proven cases of systemic lupus erythematosus. To study the effectiveness of treatments in this group of patients, we pooled analysis of two large randomized controlled multicenter trials of patients with diverse ethnic and racial background who had pure class V disease. These patients received mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) or intravenous cyclophosphamide (IVC) as induction therapy for 24 weeks, with percentage change in proteinuria and serum creatinine as end points. Weighted mean differences, pooled odds ratios, and confidence intervals were calculated by using a random-effects model. A total of 84 patients with class V disease were divided into equal groups, each group had comparable entry variables but one received MMF and one received IVC. Within these groups, 33 patients on MMF and 32 patients on IVC completed 24 weeks of treatment. There were no differences between the groups in mean values for the measured end points. Similarly, no difference was found regarding the number of patients who did not complete the study or who died. In patients with nephrotic syndrome, no difference was noted between those treated with MMF and IVC regarding partial remission or change in urine protein. Hence we found that the response to MMF as induction treatment of patients with class V LN appears to be no different from that to IVC.