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Cyclophosphamide Therapy in the Nephrotic Syndrome in Childhood

Br Med J 1969; 1 doi: (Published 15 March 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;1:666
  1. M. W. Moncrieff,
  2. R. H. R. White,
  3. C. S. Ogg,
  4. J. S. Cameron


    Forty-six children with the nephrotic syndrome whose renal biopsy specimens showed minimal changes and whose response to corticosteroid therapy was unsatisfactory were treated with cyclophosphamide. Three patients were completely steroid-resistant from the outset and the remainder were steroid-dependent. In several patients steroids controlled the condition less effectively with time. Most patients showed signs of steroid toxicity, and growth retardation was striking.

    A moderate leucopenia was induced with cyclophosphamide, and treatment was maintained for three to four months in the majority of cases. Thirty-eight children (83%) have remained in complete remission off all treatment for periods of 3 to 23 months, 33 after one course of cyclophosphamide and five after a second course. Two other patients who remitted but relapsed later are still on treatment. In only six patients was full remission not obtained, and three of these were steroid-resistant from the start. Two died from pneumonia and adrenal failure and four continued to have proteinuria, though in one an impressive reduction occurred.

    The results indicate that cyclophosphamide therapy is an effective alternative for nephrotic children with normal glomeruli on light microscopy who develop steroid dependence or resistance, and who exhibit toxic effects of steroid therapy.


    • * The content of this paper was presented in summary at the Clinical Meeting of the British Medical Association and the British Paediatric Association, Cheltenham, on 26 October 1968.