Volume 51 (2012) Issue 8 Pages 859-863
Objective Recently, pulsed high-dose dexamethasone (HD-Dexa) therapy was proposed as a possible alteration for the classical prednisolone (PSL) therapy for primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) patients, however it remains to be confirmed which of these remedies is superior. So the objective of this study is to compare the efficacy and the sustainability of these options.
Methods The first-line therapy at our institute for untreated adult ITP cases was accordingly changed as follows, and we retrospectively evaluated the outcomes: 1) daily administration of 0.5-1 mg/kg PSL for 2-4 weeks and subsequently stepwise reduction, 2) one course of HD-Dexa (40 mg/day for four consecutive days, 1xHD-Dexa), 3) three courses of the same dose of HD-Dexa (3xHD-Dexa) repeated biweekly. This study was approved by the ethical committee of the University of Tokyo.
Results Twenty-five patients were enrolled consecutively. A good initial response was attained through all the regimens. Meanwhile, time to next treatment for lack of response or relapse was significantly longer in the PSL group than in the other groups (log-rank test, PSL vs. 1xHD-Dexa p<0.001, PSL vs. 3xHD-Dexa p=0.0053, respectively). Additionally, PSL regimen conferred a significantly longer duration time of response (PSL vs. 1xHD-Dexa p=0.0024, PSL vs. 3xHD-Dexa p=0.028, respectively) and CR (PSL vs. 1xHD-Dexa p=0.012, PSL vs. 3xHD-Dexa p=0.0090, respectively). No patient discontinued the treatment due to side effects in this study.
Conclusion PSL regimen was considered to be superior to pulsed HD-Dexa regimens in the sustainability of response.