Course and outcome of tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Dec;34(6):1016-21. doi: 10.1016/S0272-6386(99)70006-5.


We report here the clinical features and outcomes of 10 patients, aged 11 to 21 years (median, 13.0), with idiopathic tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN) and uveitis syndrome (TINU syndrome). The initial symptoms were visual impairment in 7 patients and prolonged fever, anemia, or asthenia in 4 patients. An increase in urinary beta(2)-microglobulin was noticed at the initial checkup in all patients, including 2 patients who showed the normal ranges of 24-hour protein excretion. Creatinine clearance was decreased in 8 patients. TIN was found simultaneously with ocular symptoms in 7 patients and preceded these symptoms in the remaining 3 patients. Percutaneous renal biopsy indicated tubulointerstitial lesions in varying degrees. The histological grade of TIN was correlated with urinary beta(2)-microglobulin levels. Systemic steroid therapy was performed in 7 patients because of the progression of uveitis. The 10 patients were followed-up for 16 to 94 months (median, 31.0 months). In all patients, creatinine clearance recovered to the normal ranges (>/=70 mL/min/1.73 m(2)) mostly within 1 year. Urinary beta(2)-microglobulin excretion gradually declined but was slightly elevated in 4 patients at the latest checkup. Uveitis recurred in all 10 patients, which did not affect the renal status. Our findings indicate that early referral of patients from ophthalmologists and determination of beta(2)-microglobulin in the urine is helpful for the early discovery of TINU syndrome. In children and adolescents with this syndrome, TIN spontaneously resolves and its long-term prognosis is good, but uveitis often relapses. Systemic steroids may be required for uveitis, but not for TIN.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Child
  • Creatinine / metabolism
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / diagnosis*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / immunology
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / metabolism
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Syndrome
  • Uveitis / diagnosis*
  • Uveitis / drug therapy
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / urine


  • HLA Antigens
  • beta 2-Microglobulin
  • Creatinine