Lupus nephritis in children and adolescents: results of the Italian Collaborative Study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2013 Jun;28(6):1487-96. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfs589. Epub 2013 Jan 22.


Background: Lupus nephritis (LN) strongly affects the outcome in children with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Many patients, however, have renal disease at onset, but lack a sufficient number of criteria to be diagnosed as SLE and develop delayed symptoms over time (d-SLE). Data on the clinical course, long-term outcome and predictors of disease progression in children with LN are scant.

Methods: The Italian Collaborative Study included 161 paediatric patients with LN who were followed up for a mean of 96 months (range 6-296) in seven paediatric nephrology units. Cox-Mantel regression models were used to identify predictors of disease remission, relapse and progression.

Results: At 1 year, the proportion of patients in remission was 83.2% (partial) and 53.5% (complete). Renal flares occurred in >50% of patients within 10 years. The intensity of induction treatment correlated significantly with the achievement of remission, while d-SLE, class IV LN and younger age were associated with poor response to treatment and/or with progression to chronic renal failure.

Conclusions: The current study provides outcome data on a large paediatric population with LN and underlines the importance of prescribing appropriate induction treatment to all children, regardless of the presence of enough SLE criteria, which may develop several years after the initial diagnosis.

Keywords: ACR criteria; children; chronic renal failure; full house nephropathy; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Infant
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / etiology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / pathology
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications
  • Lupus Nephritis / mortality*
  • Lupus Nephritis / therapy
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate


  • Immunosuppressive Agents