Mycophenolate mofetil treatment for primary glomerular diseases

Michael J Choi, Joseph A. Eustace, Luis F. Gimenez, Mohamed G. Atta, Paul Joseph Scheel, Renuka Sothinathan, William A. Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

212 Scopus citations


Background. Treatment of primary glomerular diseases may be unsuccessful or have potential toxicities. Therefore, we evaluated the use of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) for empirical treatment of primary glomerulopathies. Methods. Forty-six patients with biopsy-proven primary glomerulopathies received MMF for ≥3 months as adjunctive or primary treatment. Median (range) 24-hour urine protein to creatinine ratio (Up/c) and serum creatinine at the start and end of MMF therapy were compared using the Wilcoxon signedranks test. Results. Overall, the median Up/c decreased from 4.7 (range <0.1, 20.3) to 1.1 (<0.1, 14.3; P < 0.001) at the end of MMF treatment with no significant change in median serum creatinine 1.3 (0.6 to 6.1) to 1.2 (0.5 to 6.5) mg/dL. Median serum albumin increased from 3.4 (1.4, 4.6) to 4.1 (1.7, 48) g/dL (P < 0.001) and the median serum cholesterol decreased from 270 (148, 795) to 220 (140, 309) mg/dL (P < 0.001) post-treatment. For those with minimal change disease, a complete steroid withdrawal was accomplished in 5/6 steroid dependent patients. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) patients had a median Up/c that decreased from 2.7 (0.1, 20.3) to 0.8 (<0.1, 8.2; P = 0.001) in 18 patients. In membranous nephropathy CMN) patients, the median Up/c decreased from 7.3 (0.1, 18.5) to 1.5 (<0.1, 14.3) (P = 0.001) in 17 patients. No significant change in median serum creatinine was detected in FSGS or MN patient groups during treatment. Conclusions. Empirical MMF therapy in the majority of patients with primary glomerulopathies was well tolerated and achieved the goals of steroid withdrawal, improvement of nephrotic syndrome, and stabilization of renal function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1098-1114
Number of pages17
JournalKidney international
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002


  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • Membranous nephropathy
  • Minimal change disease
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Renal insufficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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