Many patients receive an NSAID and at least one DMARD, sometimes with low-dose oral glucocorticoids. If disease remission is observed, regular NSAIDs or glucocorticoid treatment may no longer be needed. DMARDs help control arthritis but do not cure the disease. For that reason, if remission or optimal control is achieved with a DMARD, it is often continued at a maintenance dosage. Discontinuing a DMARD may reactivate disease or cause a “rebound flare,” with no assurance that disease control will be reestablished upon resumption of the medication, according to Arthritis & Rheumatism. [ 6 ]
Childhood nephrotic syndrome (NS) is frequently characterized by a relapsing course. There is no uniform agreement about the precise stage at which a steroid-sparing agent should be introduced to control the disease. In order to evaluate the treatment strategies and outcome of steroid-sensitive NS over the last 2 decades, a retrospective notes review was undertaken in a cohort of children treated at Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital between 1980 and 2000. From a population of 863 children with NS referred, 509 had frequently relapsing or steroid-dependent disease and 261 children received at least one steroid-sparing agent. Cyclophosphamide was the first choice in 178 patients and in 114 no further steroid-sparing agent was needed. Levamisole was prescribed as the first steroid-sparing agent for 65 children and disease control was achieved in 30%. Cyclosporin A was prescribed in 61 children and sustained remission was induced in 69%. It is concluded that cyclophosphamide is a potent agent in inducing sustained remission in steroid-sensitive NS. Levamisole and cyclosporin A have emerged as attractive steroid-sparing agents. Complications and major side effects of treatment are infrequent but occasionally fatal.
The caudal approach to the epidural space involves the use of a Tuohy needle, an intravenous catheter, or a hypodermic needle to puncture the sacrococcygeal membrane . Injecting local anaesthetic at this level can result in analgesia and/or anaesthesia of the perineum and groin areas. The caudal epidural technique is often used in infants and children undergoing surgery involving the groin, pelvis or lower extremities. In this population, caudal epidural analgesia is usually combined with general anaesthesia since most children do not tolerate surgery when regional anaesthesia is employed as the sole modality.