Purpose of review: To provide a review and discussion of histological prognostic indicators in immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy (IgAN).
Recent findings: A variety of histological parameters and classifications have been used to attempt to predict prognosis in patients with IgAN. Grading systems used thus far do not consistently provide a useful adjunct to clinical prognostic parameters. This may be due to the variety of grading systems used, to inconsistent patient recruitment processes, and to the use of actuarial renal survival as an end point. This has led to the development of a new IgAN classification proposal by the International IgA Nephropathy Network in conjunction with the Renal Pathological Society. Additional potential markers of disease progression currently under investigation include glomerular parameters such as number and size, markers of podocyte function and of complement activation, inflammatory infiltrates and mediators of tubulointerstitial fibrosis.
Summary: There is a need for an internationally accepted, reproducible and clinically meaningful pathological classification of IgAN. Such a classification is currently being developed. By using only reproducible, single parameters and validating them on a large group of cases from all over the world, it is hoped that a useful clinically predictive tool will be developed.