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Table 1 Basic characteristics of included studies. The intervention group comprised patients treated with rituximab plus prednisone and/or CIs, while the control group contained patients on prednisone and/or CIs. The end-point of our meta-analysis was the percentage of patients in remission at 6 months

From: The efficacy and safety of rituximab in treating childhood nephrotic syndrome: an Italian perspective

First author, year (Reference) Study design Intervention group (n) Control group (n) Age intervention group/age control group, yr, mean Male/Female patients, n/n Intervention
Ravani et al. 2015 [6]. Single-centre, RCT RTX (15) Corticosteroid therapy (15) 6.9/6.9 19/11 All patients were maintained in remission with high prednisone doses (>0.7 mg/kg per day)
Treatment group
- RTX (one infusion of 375 mg/m2)
- prednisone was tapered off by 0.3 mg/kg per week if proteinuria was <1 g/d. 
Control group
- prednisone (mean dose 49 mg/m2 per day)
Ravani et al. 2011 [5] Single-centre, RCT RTX (27) Corticosteroid + CIs therapy (27) 10.2/11.3 43/11 Treatment group
- RTX (one or two infusion of 375 mg/m2)
- chlorfenamine maleate
- methyl prednisolone
- paracetamol
- prednisone was tapered off by 0.3 mg/kg per week if proteinuria was <1 g/d. 
Control group
- prednisone and CIs (tapered off by 0.3 mg/kg per week if proteinuria was <1 g/d.)
Iijima et al. 2014 [7] Multicentre, RCT RTX (24) Corticosteroid therapy (24) 11.5/13.6 34/14 Treatment group
- RTX an intravenous dose of 375 mg/m2 (maximum
500 mg) once weekly for 4 weeks.
- Methylprednisolone
- Acetaminophen
- d-chlorpheniramine maleate 
Control group
- prednisolone (60 mg/m2 orally three times a day (maximum of 80 mg per day) for 4 weeks, and then tapered over 6 weeks.
Ahn et al. 2013 [8] Multicentre, RCT RTX (35) Corticosteroid + CIs therapy (18) 13/NA NA/NA Treatment group
- single dose of intravenous RTX (375 mg/m2)
Control group
- corticosteroid therapy
  1. FRNS or SDNS were defined complicated as follows: a) children when aged 2 years or older, who had ≥4 relapses in a 12-month period or steroid dependence at any point in the 2 years before relapse at screening, after completion of immunosuppressive drug treatment (e.g., ciclosporin, cyclophosphamide, mizoribine, or mycophenolate mofetil); or b) children when aged 2 years or older, who had ≥4 relapses in a 12-month period or steroid dependence diagnosed at any point in the 2 years before relapse at screening, during immunosuppressive drug treatment (e.g., ciclosporin, cyclophosphamide, mizoribine, or mycophenolate mofetil); or c) patients with a history of SRNS and diagnosed with FRNS or SDNS when aged 2 years or older, who had ≥4 relapses in a 12-month period or steroid dependence at any point in the 2 years before relapse at screening, during or after the completion of immunosuppressive drug treatment (e.g., ciclosporin or a combination of ciclosporin and methylprednisolone)
  2. Abbreviations: CIs calcineurin inhibitor, RTX rituximab, NA not available