Spectrum and outcome of primary glomerulonephritis

Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. Oct-Dec 2004;15(4):440-6.


Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a major cause of chronic renal failure (CRF). To evaluate the trends and outcome with modern improved treatment strategies, we retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of 120 patients with biopsy proven primary GN at our center from January 1990 to June 2001. All the biopsy specimens were subjected to light, electron and immunofluorescent microscopy. The recorded clinical parameters included the presenting symptoms, blood pressure readings, complete blood count, urinalysis, 24-hr urinary protein excretion, creatinine clearance besides rendered therapy and the outcome. Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis was the most common GN and accounted for 56 (47.6%) cases. The frequency of other GN cases in our study included IgA GN in 21 (17.5%) patients, membranous GN in 20 (16.7%), minimal change disease (MCD) in 13 (10.8%), membranoproliferative GN in 4 (3.3%), post infection in 4 (3.3%) and rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN) in 2 (1.7%). The type of nephropathy had great influence on outcome and response to therapy. The deterioration of patients with FSGS was the fastest of the glomerulopathies, and nine (16.1%) patients developed end-stage renal failure (ESRD). MCD and post infection GN had the best outcome. Corticosteroids alone along with supportive medication conferred good results in MCD, while combined therapies of mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and/or cyclophosphamide with corticosteroids provided better outcomes in the rest of the GN. RPGN responded well to the cyclophosphamide and the patients did not develop ESRD. Hyperuricemia, high serum creatinine and hypertension predicted worse outcomes. The control of blood pressure and glucose, and treatment of hyperuricemia and hypoalbuminemia had salutary effect on the outcome. We conclude that due to the better delivered care the outcome of primary GN has improved over the years. However, FSGS is still the most frequently encountered primary GN and has the worst outcome. In the present study, combined therapies with corticosteroids and cytotoxic drugs and supportive therapy were associated with better outcome.