Fish oil enhanced the efficacy of low-dose cyclophosphamide regimen for proliferative lupus nephritis: a randomized controlled double-blind trial
Background: Lupus nephritis (LN) is one of the most severe organ that damages the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Cyclophosphamide is one of the main drugs used in the treatment of LN. Fish oil is a general term of all the oily substances in fish, whose main component is omega-3 fatty acid. This study aimed to investigate whether fish oil could be used as an adjunct to low-dose cyclophosphamide in proliferative LN treatment.
Methods: A total of 237 patients with proliferative LN were recruited and randomized into two groups: cyclophosphamide + placebo group and cyclophosphamide + fish oil group. In the cyclophosphamide + placebo group, participants received prednisone + cyclophosphamide + placebo. In the cyclophosphamide + fish oil group, participants received prednisone + cyclophosphamide + fish oil. Before and after treatment, the clinical parameters of the patients in both groups were evaluated.
Results: In the cyclophosphamide + fish oil group, the number of patients achieving complete remission (n = 45, 46.9%) was significantly higher than the cyclophosphamide + placebo group (n = 31, 32.6%). The number of patients achieving no response in the cyclophosphamide + fish oil group (n = 8, 8.3%) was significantly lower than the cyclophosphamide + placebo group (n = 22, 23.2%). Hematuria (P = 0.036), urine protein-creatinine ratio (uPCR) (P = 0.014), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (P = 0.027), and renal SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI) (P = 0.009) improved more significantly in the cyclophosphamide + fish oil group. The number of patients with infection (P = 0.04) or urinary tract infection (P = 0.04) in the cyclophosphamide + fish oil group was lower than the cyclophosphamide + placebo group.
Conclusion: In conclusion, the treatment of fish oil in LN patients enhances the efficiency of cyclophosphamide, alleviates nephritis-related parameters, and inhibits infection and urinary tract infection during the treatment. Thus, fish oil may serve as a potential adjuvant drug in the treatment of LN.
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