Spontaneous remission of nephrotic syndrome in patients with IgA nephropathy

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2011 May;26(5):1570-5. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfq559. Epub 2010 Sep 14.


Background: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) can be complicated by nephrotic syndrome. Because the spontaneous resolution of heavy proteinuria is rare, corticosteroid therapy should be considered in such cases, particularly when IgAN is combined with minimal-change disease. Here, we report our experience of spontaneous remission of nephrotic syndrome in patients with IgAN and the long-term outcomes of these patients.

Methods: Two hundred and thirty-three patients with biopsy-proven IgAN were enrolled between January 2001 and March 2009. Demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected retrospectively based on medical records. In addition, pathologic findings were reviewed for glomerular and tubulointerstitial lesions. Outcome data for complete or partial remission, spontaneous remission, relapse, deterioration of renal function, and end-stage renal disease were recorded.

Results: Twenty-four patients (10.3%) presented nephrotic syndrome. Among them, five patients underwent spontaneous remission within 6 months after the presentation of nephrotic syndrome. Interestingly, spontaneous remission occurred even in two patients who had elevated serum creatinine levels and advanced renal damage. During follow-up, neither recurrence nor relapse occurred, and no patients showed progressive deterioration of kidney function. Conclusions. This study suggests that spontaneous remission of nephrotic syndrome may occur in any stage of IgAN and carries a favourable long-term outcome without relapse. Given the possibility of under-reported cases, large-scale studies are required, and careful attention should be paid to such complicated cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / complications*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / etiology*
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / pathology
  • Proteinuria
  • Remission, Spontaneous
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult