Lupus nephritis (LN) is a frequent and serious manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus. However, the outcome has progressively improved in the last 3 decades and this was due to more efficient and early treatment of LN and comorbid situations. The aim of our study was to analyze our experience and outcome in LN, to evaluate clinicopathologic and clinicolaboratory correlations and to search for risk factors for renal and patient survival.
Patients and methods: We conducted a retrospective study of 78 patients with biopsy-proven LN.
Results: Acute renal failure and subnephrotic proteinuria with microhematuria occurred each one in 39.7% of the patients, nephrotic syndrome in 16.7% and nephritic syndrome in 3.8%. The mean serum creatinine at presentation was 1.45 +/- 1.03 mg/dl and the creatinine clearance was 68.2 +/- 40.3 ml/min. Class IV LN existed in 71.8%, Class III in 20.5%, Class V in 6.4% and Class VI in 1.3%. The treatment included steroids and cytotoxic agents in 87.5% of the patients with proliferative LN. Hypertension, serum creatinine and acute renal failure at presentation, as well as significant chronicity on renal biopsy, were significantly correlated with the progression to chronic renal failure in our population. Males were more prone to develop renal flares. 3.8% of the patients died, 9% lost their renal function, 26.9% are in remission, 33.3% still have subnephrotic proteinuria and microhematuria, 7.7% have nephrotic syndrome and 19.2% have chronic renal failure. The mean global follow-up was 102 +/- 74 months and 96.2% of the patients survived. The actuarial renal survival was 96.1% in the first year; 89.9% at 5 years; and 83.7% at 10 and 20 years.
Conclusion: We can say that hypertension, serum creatinine and acute renal failure at the onset and significant chronicity on renal biopsy, proved to be risk factors for chronic renal failure in our study population. Male gender was a risk factor for renal flares. The achieved global outcome can be considered a good result.