Intravenous immunoglobulin treatment of lupus nephritis

Yair Levy, Yaniv Sherer, Jacob George, Jozef Rovensky, Jozef Lukac, Lubica Rauova, Peter Poprac, Pnina Langevitz, Fabrizio Fabbrizzi, Yehuda Shoenfeld*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the clinical response of treatment-resistant membranous and membranoproliferative lupus nephritis to intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg). Methods: Seven lupus nephritis patients who failed to respond to at least prednisone and cyclophosphamide were studied. A kidney biopsy showing either membranous or membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis was available in six patients. They were treated with six courses (patients 1 and 2) or 1 or 2 courses (patients 3 through 7) of high-dose IVIg. For patients 3 through 7, the plasma levels of albumin, total cholesterol, urea, creatinine, dsDNA antibody titers, and daily proteinuria were measured just before the IVIg therapy, immediately on completion, and 6 months later. Results: All seven patients had a beneficial response to IVIg. In patient 1, decrease in proteinuria was evident 2 weeks after IVIg was started, nephrotic syndrome gradually disappeared, and she had no proteinuria in 3 years' follow-up. Decline in proteinuria was evident in patient 2 after the 4th IVIg course, but proteinuria reached the pretreatment level 4 months after the therapy ended. In patients 3 through 7, the mean daily proteinuria before IVIg (5.3 ± 2.1 g) decreased after 1 or 2 IVIg courses (3.3 ± 1.4 g), and further decreased when measured 6 months later (2.1 ± 1.3 g). Similarly, the plasma cholesterol level decreased while the plasma albumin level increased after IVIg. Conclusions: IVIg might be effective in treatment-resistant membranous or membranoproliferative lupus nephritis. Future studies should concentrate on determining the preferred treatment protocol of IVIg for the various classes of lupus nephritis. Copyright (C) 2000 W.B. Saunders Company.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000


  • Anti-idiotypes
  • Intravenous immunoglobulins
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Proteinuria
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus


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