To evaluate the efficacy of cytapheresis for the treatment of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN) caused by myeloperoxidase antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (MPO-ANCA)-associated vasculitis, the renal prognosis and the mortality rate at 1 year after treatment were compared between a Cytapheresis Group and a Steroid Pulse Group. The Cytapheresis Group included 10 patients who were treated with cytapheresis and oral corticosteroids. Five had granulocytapheresis with the Adacolumn (Japan Immuno Research Laboratories Co. Ltd, Takasaki, Japan) and the remaining five had leukocytapheresis with the leukocyte removal filter, Cellsorba (Asahi Medical Co. Ltd, Tokyo, Japan). The Steroid Pulse Group was comprised of 12 patients who were treated with methylprednisolone pulse therapy and oral corticosteroids. In the Cytapheresis Group, renal function recovered in 70% of the patients and the mortality rate was 10%. In the Steroid Pulse Group, renal function recovered in 66.7% and the mortality rate was 33.3%, with infection as the cause of death. Total doses of corticosteroids converted to prednisolone dose during a 1 month period, ranged from 280 mg to 1226 mg in the Cytapheresis Group. On the other hand, these dosages ranged from 2375 mg to 8380 mg in the Steroid Pulse Group. These results indicated that the mortality rate by infection could be reduced by adding cytapheresis therapy. Concerning the mechanism of cytapheresis, anti-inflammatory factors such as soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor, and interleukin-10 reduced after cytapheresis. These changes might be responsible for the efficacy of cytapheresis. In conclusion, cytapheresis is thought to be one of the effective treatments for RPGN caused by MPO-ANCA-associated vasculitis, reducing the levels of anti-inflammatory factors.
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