Table 3

Overview of the studies fulfilling the predefined selection criteria for analysis of tacrolimus-based regimens in patients with lupus nephritis

Type of studyQuality score (0–9)*No. of patientsTime to end pointTreatment regimen
Induction with duo therapy
Chen et al18RCT5816 monthsTAC: blood concentration of 5–10 ng/mL
Pred: initial dose 1 mg/kg/day (max. 60 mg/day) tapered until 10 mg/day
Li et al19RCT4606 monthsTAC: blood concentration of 6–8 ng/mL
Pred: initial dose 1 mg/kg/day (max. 60 mg/day), tapered until 10 mg/day
Mok et al8RCT41506 monthsTAC: 0.1 mg/kg/day reduced to 0.06 mg/kg/day at 3 months if clinical response is satisfactory
Pred: initial dose 0.6 mg/kg/day for 6 weeks, tapered until <10 mg/day
Induction with triple therapy
Bao et al20RCT5406 monthsTAC: blood concentration of 5–7 ng/mL
MMF: 1.0 g/day, (AUC) 20–45 mg hour/L
Intravenous methylprednisone: 0.5 g/day for 3 days
Pred: pred 0.6–0.8 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks, tapered until maintenance dose 10 mg/day
Liu et al9RCT53626 monthsTAC: adjusted according to blood concentration measured throughout the study
MMF: according to AUC measured throughout the study
Pred: similar between treatment groups, gradually tapered
Maintenance with duo therapy
Chen et al21RCT4706 monthsTAC: blood concentrations of 4–6 ng/mL
Pred: 10 mg/day
Induction and maintenance with duo therapy
Yap et al22CCSNA1624 monthsTAC: blood concentration of 6–8 ng/mL in the first 6 months; 5–5.9 ng/mL in the next 6 months; 3.0–4.9 ng/mL in the last year
Pred: 0.8 mg/kg/day (maximum 50 mg/day), tapered to 7.5 mg/day until end of study (in patients <50 kg reduced to 5 mg/day)
Wang et al23CCSNA4012 monthsTAC: blood concentration of 6–8 ng/mL during induction, 4–6 ng/mL during maintenance
Pred: 0.8 mg/kg/day (maximum 50 mg/day), tapered until 10–15 mg/day during maintenance
  • *Quality assessed with the Delphi score.

  • AUC, area under curve; CCS, case-control study; MMF, mycophenolate mofetil; NA, not applicable; pred, prednisone; RCT, randomised controlled trial; TAC, tacrolimus.