Background: IgA nephropathy, or Berger's disease, is a primary mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis, usually with a favourable prognosis.
Patients and methods: To investigate the effect of tonsillectomy we conducted a retrospective investigation on renal outcome in 55 patients with IgA nephropathy in an outpatient university clinic between 1968 and 1994. Established risk factors for progressive IgA nephropathy were equally distributed in 16 patients subjected to tonsillectomy and in 39 patients without tonsillectomy. Renal survival and impact of risk factors were estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression model.
Results: Seen in terms of the bivariate Kaplan-Meier analysis the probability of renal survival 10 years after biopsy was 0.37 for the 16 patients with tonsillectomy and 0.63 for the 39 patients without tonsillectomy (log-rank test p = 0.49, not significant). In the multivariate Cox regression model with 6 independent clinical covariates, initially high serum creatinine concentration had the strongest impact on renal outcome (p = 0.002), with a hazard ratio of 8.9 (95% CI: 2.3-35.0). Tonsillectomy had no significant influence in the Cox model (p = 0.37), displaying a hazard ratio of 1.7 (95% CI: 0.5-5.7).
Conclusion: In conclusion, tonsillectomy does not reduce the risk of developing renal failure or prevent a progressive course of IgA nephropathy.