Results of the PROPINE randomized controlled study suggest tapering of prednisone treatment for relapses of steroid sensitive nephrotic syndrome is not necessary in children

A. Gargiulo, L. Massella, B. Ruggiero, L. Ravà, M. Ciofi degli Atti, M. Materassi, F. Lugani, E. Benetti, W. Morello, D. Molino, F. Mattozzi, M. Pennesi, S. Maringhini, A. Pasini, B. Gianoglio, C. Pecoraro, G. Montini, L. Murer, G.M. Ghiggeri, P. RomagnaniM. Vivarelli, F. Emma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Corticosteroid-related toxicity in children with steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome is primarily related to the cumulative dose of prednisone. To optimize treatment of relapses, we conducted the PROPINE study, a multicentric, open-label, randomized, superiority trial. Seventy-eight relapsing children aged 3-17 years who had not received steroid-sparing medications during the previous 12 months were randomized to receive, from day five after remission, either 18 doses of 40 mg/m2 of prednisone on alternate days (short arm), or the same cumulative dose tapered over double the time (long arm). Patients were monitored with an ad-hoc smartphone application, allowing daily reporting. The primary outcome was the six-month relapse rate at which time, 23/40 and 16/38 patients had relapsed in the long and short arms, respectively (no significant difference). Additionally, 40/78 patients were also enrolled in a secondary crossover study and were allocated to the opposite arm. Altogether, at six months, the relapse rate was 32/40 and 28/40 in the long and short arms, respectively (no significant difference). A post-hoc analysis excluding 30 patients treated with low-dose prednisone maintenance therapy failed to show significant differences between the two arms. No differences in adverse events, blood pressure and weight gain were observed. Thus, our data do not support the prescription of prolonged tapering schedules for relapses of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-483
Number of pages9
JournalKidney International
Volume99
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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