Background: This study evaluated the efficiency of corticosteroid, leflunomide and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of pediatric idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis (IPH).
Methods: Ten patients were included in the study. The diagnosis of IPH was based on clinical symptoms, laboratory examinations and pulmonary hemosiderosis. Induction therapy consisted of methylprednisolone pulse therapy, followed by prednisone plus leflunomide. Maintenance therapy consisted of low-dose prednisone, leflunomide and administration of MSCs.
Results: All the patients achieved complete response after treatment with corticosteroid, leflunomide and MSCs. The median follow-up was 23 months (range: 4–34 months). Moreover, administration of MSCs induced an increase in the percentage of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells but a decrease in the percentage of Th17 cells.
Conclusion: Treatment with corticosteroid, leflunomide and MSCs for pediatric IPH was safe and effective.