Background: Combined treatment with cyclosporine microemulsion preconcentrate (CyA MEPC) and steroids has been widely used for idiopathic membranous nephropathy (IMN) associated with steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (SRNS). Recent studies have shown that once-a-day and preprandial administration of CyA MEPC is more advantageous than the conventional twice-a-day administration in achieving the target blood CyA concentration at 2 h post dose (C2). We designed a randomized trial to compare these administrations.
Methods: IMN patients with SRNS (age 16–75 years) were divided prospectively and randomly into 2 groups. In group 1 (n = 23), 2–3 mg/kg body weight (BW) CyA MEPC was given orally once a day before breakfast. In group 2 (n = 25), 1.5 mg/kg BW CyA MEPC was given twice a day before meals. CyA + prednisolone was continued for 48 weeks.
Results: Group 1 showed a significantly higher cumulative complete remission (CR) rate (p = 0.0282), but not when incomplete remission 1 (ICR1; urine protein 0.3–1.0 g/day) was added (p = 0.314). Because a C2 of 600 ng/mL was determined as the best cut-off point, groups 1 and 2 were further divided into subgroups A (C2 ≥600 ng/mL) and B (C2 <600 ng/mL). Groups 1A and 2A revealed significantly higher cumulative remission (CR + ICR1) (p = 0.0069) and CR-alone (p = 0.0028) rates. On the other hand, 3 patients with high CyA levels (C2 >900 ng/mL) in Group 1A were withdrawn from the study because of complications.
Conclusion: CyA + prednisolone treatment is effective for IMN with associated SRNS at a C2 of ≥600 ng/mL. To achieve remission, preprandial once-a-day administration of CyA at 2–3 mg/kg BW may be the most appropriate option. However, we should adjust the dosage of CyA by therapeutic drug monitoring to avoid complications.
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