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Predictors of renal flares and long-term renal outcome in patients with lupus nephritis: results from daily clinical practice


1, 2, 3, 4

 

  1. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
  2. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
  3. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
  4. Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, The Netherlands. k.de.leeuw@umcg.nl

CER14069
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PMID: 33822705 [PubMed]

Received: 25/09/2020
Accepted : 14/12/2020
In Press: 30/03/2021

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
To describe renal outcomes of the lupus nephritis (LN) population of the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) in the Netherlands and to identify predictors for renal flares and long-term renal outcome in daily clinical practice.
METHODS:
A retrospective analysis of biopsy-proven LN patients with induction and maintenance treatment in the UMCG between 1982 and 2016 was performed. Data were collected at time of diagnosis, after 6 months and every year up to 10 years after diagnosis. Outcome measures were renal relapse (biopsy proven), progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3 or 4 and chronic renal replacement therapy. The ability of serum creatinine, proteinuria, creatinine clearance, serum anti-double stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) antibodies, serum complement 3 (C3) and serum complement 4 (C4), as well as biographic data and histopathological class to predict long-term renal outcome was assessed.
RESULTS:
Seventy-one patients were included, with median follow-up of 120 months (IQR 48–120 months). During follow-up – up to 10 years – twenty-one (30%) patients experienced at least one relapse. Eleven (15%) patients had CKD stage 3 or 4, of whom eight showed persistent CKD since baseline and two (3%) patients required chronic renal replacement therapy. At baseline, low levels of serum C3 were a significant predictor of renal relapse. Low levels of C3 and C4 at 6 and 12 and proteinuria and high levels of anti-dsDNA at 12 months were significant predictors of renal relapse. At baseline, 6 months and 12 months serum creatinine and creatinine clearance were significant predictors for persistent or newly developed CKD 3 or 4, and need for chronic renal replacement therapy.
CONCLUSIONS:
Almost one-third of LN patients experience at least one renal relapse during long-term follow up, but only 3% need chronic renal replacement therapy. Our data suggests that early serological remission is associated with a low risk of renal relapse. Decreased renal function at onset and the first year after diagnosis is predictive for decreased renal function at a later stage.

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