Time of initial appearance of renal symptoms in the course of systemic lupus erythematosus as a prognostic factor for lupus nephritis

Mod Rheumatol. 2009;19(3):293-301. doi: 10.1007/s10165-009-0154-4. Epub 2009 Mar 10.


The prognosis of lupus nephritis (LN) was studied retrospectively in two LN categories, LN manifested initially at systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) onset (I-LN) and LN of delayed manifestation after SLE onset (D-LN), based on a chart review (C) of 154 SLE (85 LN) patients with a mean observation of 20.8 +/- 9.3 years and a questionnaire study (Q) of 125 LN patients outside our hospital with mean observation of 17.6 +/- 9.2 years. In both study groups, half of I-LN patients were relapse-free by Kaplan-Meier analysis after initial therapy, and the relapsed I-LN patients responded to retherapy at higher 5-year relapse-free rates than those of patients receiving initial therapies for D-LN. At last observation, a higher frequency of prolonged remission was shown in I-LN compared with D-LN patients (C: 22/31, 71% versus 14/49, 29%, P < 0.01; Q: 65/89, 73% versus 11/33, 33% P < 0.01) and also a higher frequency of irreversible renal damage in D-LN compared with I-LN patients (C: 25/49, 51% versus 2/31, 6%, P < 0.001; Q: 14/33, 42% versus 6/89, 7%, P < 0.001), although class IV pathology was common in patients (C) in both LN categories. Onset time of lupus nephritis in the course of SLE may affect renal prognosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Lupus Nephritis / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Nephritis / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies