Background: Primary glomerular disease (PGD) is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in China. With the development of socioeconomic status of Chinese people in the last two decades, PGD in ESRD is intent to decrease. However, whether this affects the spectrum of PGD is not clear. The aim of the current study is to investigate the changing spectrum of PGD in China.
Methods: The records of 5398 consecutive native renal biopsies performed in adults (>or=14 years of age) in our centre between 1993 and 2007 were retrospectively analysed. The criteria for renal biopsy and pathologic diagnosis were kept unchanged. The patients were grouped according to a 5-year interval, 1993-97 (period 1), 1998-2002 (period 2) and 2003-07 (period 3). Then they were divided into four groups according to age for stratified analysis: 14-24 years, 25-44 years, 45-59 years and the elderly (>or=60 years).
Results: Three thousand, three hundred and thirty-one patients were diagnosed with PGD. PGD remained the most common renal disease, accounting for 65.9%, 57.7% and 63.2% in period 1, 2 and 3, respectively, without any significant difference. The proportion of elder patients increased significantly from 0% in 1993 to 9.1% in 2007 (P < 0.001). Within 1993-97, the leading PGD was IgA nephropathy (50.7%), followed by non-IgA MsPGN (19.9%), membranous nephropathy (MN) (13.3%) and minimal change disease (MCD) (6.3%), while within 2003-07, the most common PGD was still IgAN (58.2%), but followed by MN (14.3%), MCD (13.4%) and non-IgA MsPGN (7.0%). The age-adjusted frequency of IgAN and MCD increased significantly from period 1 to period 3 (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), while that of non-IgA MsPGN, EnPGN and MPGN decreased significantly (P < 0.001, P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). There was no significant change in the age-adjusted frequency of FSGS, MN and CreGN during the study period. However, when patients were stratified by age, a sixfold increase in frequency of FSGS was identified in the 14- to 24-year group (P < 0.01).
Conclusions: The spectrum of primary glomerulonephritis has changed within the last 15 years. The relative frequency of non-IgA MsPGN, EnPGN and MPGN decreased significantly, while that of MCD and IgA nephropathy increased significantly. The relative frequency of FSGS increased significantly in younger patients.