Prevalence of nondiabetic renal disease in diabetic patients

Am J Nephrol. 2007;27(3):322-8. doi: 10.1159/000102598. Epub 2007 May 9.


Background: Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the USA, yet most patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are not formally evaluated with a renal biopsy. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of nondiabetic renal disease (NDRD) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to determine common clinical indicators suggestive of NDRD.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on biopsy reports of patients who had undergone native renal biopsy between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 2005.

Results: After exclusion of 57 patients, 233 patients with DM2 were included in our analysis. Mean age at the time of biopsy was 58.1 +/- 13.7 years, and 53.0% of the study population were male. There were 124 cases (53.2%) with a pathologic diagnosis of NDRD, 64 (27.5%) with pure diabetic glomerulosclerosis (DGS) and 45 (19.3%) with concurrent NDRD and DGS (CD). Patients with NDRD tended to be younger than those with DGS and had significantly less associated diabetic retinopathy. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis was the most common lesion found in patients with NDRD and accounted for 21.0% of all NDRD, followed by minimal-change disease (15.3%). IgA nephropathy (15.6%) and membranous glomerulonephritis (13.3%) were the most prevalent lesions found in patients with CD.

Conclusions: The high prevalence of NDRD found in our population underscores the need for clinicians to consider renal biopsy in diabetic patients with an atypical clinical course, since additional disease-specific therapies may be helpful for this subset of the population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies