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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 591-597
Evaluation of interleukin-18 in children with steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome before and after using levamisole

1 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt
2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Doaa Mohammed Youssef
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-2442.235173

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Levamisole is often discussed as the first alternative to steroids. It is an antihelminthic drug that has been used for steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome (SSNS) for more than 20 years. Interleukin (IL)-18, a member of the IL-1 cytokine superfamily, is recognized as an important regulator of immune responses. The aim of the study was to investigate the IL-18 levels in serum from children with SSNS during relapse and remission after using levamisole or three months in a trial to test the efficacy of its action in reducing frequency of relapses in SSNS. This study was done on 23 children with frequently relapsing SSNS treated with levamisole besides steroids, then followed up three months; 16 males and seven females (mean age: 7.96 years and median 8 years). Clinical and laboratory assessments were done before starting therapy and after three months including cumulative dose of steroids and serum IL-18. We found that IL-18 level showed a significant elevation after three months of levamisole therapy compared to its level before initiation of levamisole therapy, with no relapses in these three months, no reported side effect, and significant reduction of cumulative dose of steroids. Levamisole effectiveness in reduction of relapses of SSNS may be due to resetting of the type 1/type 2 imbalance, proved by induction of IL 18 may be useful in the therapy.

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