Low-density lipoprotein apheresis (LDL-A) has been used for nephrotic syndrome (NS) caused by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in Japan. Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (iMN) can also cause treatment-resistant NS. Therefore, we investigated the effect of LDL-A during initial induction for it. This retrospective, observational, and single-center study enrolled consecutive iMN patients who received steroids from March 2000 to May 2015. We compared data between 11 patients treated with LDL-A (LDL-A group) and 27 patients without (non-LDL-A group) at baseline and 4 and 8 weeks later. Reduction rate of proteinuria and increase rate of serum albumin in LDL-A group were significantly higher than the other after 4 weeks (P = 0.036 and 0.030) and 8 weeks (P = 0.030 and <0.001), respectively. There was no adverse event caused by LDL-A and immunosuppressant dose was not significantly different. In conclusion, LDL-A may be an effective choice for initial induction of nephrotic iMN.
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