Non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive medications for steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome in children

Nicholas G Larkins, Isaac D Liu, Narelle S Willis, Jonathan C Craig, Elisabeth M Hodson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


About 80% of children with steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) have relapses. Of these children, half relapse frequently, and are at risk of adverse effects from corticosteroids. While non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive medications prolong periods of remission, they have significant potential adverse effects. Currently, there is no consensus about the most appropriate second-line agent in children who are steroid sensitive, but who continue to relapse. In addition, these medications could be used with corticosteroids in the initial episode of SSNS to prolong the period of remission. This is the fourth update of a review first published in 2001 and updated in 2005, 2008 and 2013. Objectives
To evaluate the benefits and harms of non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive medications in SSNS in children with a relapsing course of SSNS and in children with their first episode of nephrotic syndrome.
Search methods
We searched the Cochrane Kidney and Transplant Register of Studies up to 10 March 2020 through contact with the Information Specialist using search terms relevant to this review. Studies in the Register are identified through searches of CENTRAL, MEDLINE, and EMBASE, conference proceedings, the International Clinical Trials Register (ICTRP) Search Portal and Selection criteria Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs were included if they involved children with SSNS and compared non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive medications with placebo, corticosteroids (prednisone or prednisolone) or no treatment; compared different noncorticosteroid immunosuppressive medications or different doses, durations or routes of administration of the same non-corticosteroid immunosuppressive medication.
Data collection and analysis
Two authors independently assessed study eligibility, risk of bias of the included studies and extracted data. Statistical analyses were performed using a random-effects model and results expressed as risk ratio (RR) for dichotomous outcomes or mean difference (MD) for continuous outcomes with 95% confidence intervals (CI). The certainty of the evidence was assessed using GRADE.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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