Background: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is not a rare disease among the Chinese and the incidence is higher in the female population. Lupus nephritis (LN) often develops in patients with SLE and may progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Although there are studies that suggest postponement of the scheduling of kidney transplantation (KT) for these patients, there are still some other studies with conflicting results. Our study aimed to analyze the outcome of patients with LN after progression to ESRD and to try to elucidate whether deferral of KT is necessary in the Chinese population.
Methods: We used the National Health Insurance Research Database to perform this cohort study. The study cohort was observed between 1998 and 2009 after being diagnosed as having SLE. The cases of SLE and ESRD were identified according to the catastrophic illness database.
Results: In total, 1998 SLE patients with ESRD were identified. They received hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, or KT with the proportion of 82.1%, 9.8%, and 8.1%, respectively. The 1-year, 5-year, 10-year patient survival rates were best for those who underwent KT (100%, 98.1%, and 94.4%, respectively), followed by peritoneal dialysis (88.3%, 79.1%, and 76%, respectively), and hemodialysis (53.6%, 46.0%, and 41.6%, respectively). For those who underwent KT within 1 year after ESRD, no significant worse patient survival and graft survival were observed than those who underwent KT 1 year later.
Conclusion: KT provides a better survival benefit for SLE patients with ESRD than hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. No obvious clinical benefit of KT deferral was observed in our study and the deferral may not be necessary for our population.
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