Background: Pulse methylprednisolone (MP) was routinely used before commencing standard immunosuppressive therapy for induction of remission in patients with dialysis-dependent anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) in spite of the paucity of evidence of benefit. The aim of this study was thus to determine whether the addition of pulse MP to standard induction immunosuppressive therapy in severe myeloperoxidase (MPO) -AAV patients who were on dialysis at onset is associated with an improvement in kidney recovery and patient survival. Furthermore, we analyzed the factors associated with restoration of kidney function and mortality in a single Chinese cohort. Methods: 69 MPO-AAV patients who were on dialysis at the time of diagnosis were included in this study. The MP group (n = 30) received pulse MP (5–10 mg/kg/day) for 3 days before the standard immunosuppressive therapy. The Non-MP group (n = 39) had no MP pulses. The outcomes and adverse events between the two groups were compared. In addition, the predictive value of the clinical and histological parameters for kidney and patient survival was assessed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Result: There was no difference in patient survival, kidney recovery and the rates of adverse events between the two groups. A higher Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score (BVAS) was shown to be a negative prognostic factor for kidney function restoration (p = 0.046, OR 0.811, 95% CI 0.660–0.997). BVAS was also demonstrated to be an independent predictor for both all-cause death (p = 0.007, OR 1.324, 95% CI 1.079–1.624) and therapy-related death (p = 0.003, OR 1.574, 95% CI 1.171–2.115). Patients' eGFR at the presentation of the disease was shown to be an independent predictor for therapy-related death (p = 0.027, OR 2.535, 95% CI 1.112–5.779). Conclusions: This retrospective study of MPO-AAV patients who required dialysis at presentation in a single Chinese center suggests that the addition of pulse MP to standard immunosuppressive induction therapy for remission appears to confer no benefit in terms of improving patient outcomes. Further research is required to determine the role of pulse MP in severe MPO-AAV.
- ANCA-associated vasculitis
- Pulse methylprednisolone