Medicina (Buenos Aires)
versión On-line ISSN 1669-9106
Membranous nephropathy is the most common histologic phenotype associated with the primary nephrotic syndrome in adults and the second most common etiological diagnosis in over sixteen hundred renal biopsies on native kidneys processed at our institution over a 30 year period. Renal survival at 10 years is about 70%, but the course of the disease is related to a series of factors which have constituted the basis for mathematical models developed to predict the natural history in a given individual. These factors are gender, age, renal function at the time of diagnosis, presence of the nephrotic syndrome, high blood pressure and the degree of structural damage. Although in low risk patients a period of observation and the use of ACE inhibitors is a reasonable option, most nephrologists would elect to use pharmacological treatment to induce remissions of proteinuria and preserve renal function. The use of steroids and cytotoxic agents in alternating monthly cycles over six months is firmly supported by controlled, randomized clinical trials. If patients are resistant to this regimen or clinical considerations indicate it may be inappropriately toxic, the use of cyclosporin over 6 to 12 months is also a good choice, and it has been shown to be useful even in the context of deteriorating renal function. Mycophenolate mofetil and possibly rituximab may be options of last resort before considering the patient resistant to therapy. At all times, treatment of hypertension, non-specific antiproteinuric measures, and preventing complications of the nephrotic state should be top priorities in the overall therapeutic strategy.
Palabras clave : membranous nephropathy; natural history; treatment; steroids; immunosuppressants; cyclosporin.