Prognosis in IgA nephropathy: 30-year analysis of 1,012 patients at a single center in Japan

PLoS One. 2014 Mar 21;9(3):e91756. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091756. eCollection 2014.


Background: Little is known about the long-term prognosis of patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN).

Methods: This retrospective cohort analysis evaluated clinical and histological findings at the time of renal biopsy, initial treatment, patient outcomes over 30 years, and risk factors associated with progression in 1,012 patients diagnosed with IgAN at our center since 1974.

Results: Of the 1,012 patients, 40.5% were male. Mean patient age was 33±12 years and mean blood pressure was 122±17/75±13 mmHg. Mean serum creatinine concentration was 0.89±0.42 mg/dL, and mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 78.5±26.2 ml/min/1.73 m2. Mean proteinuria was 1.19±1.61 g/day, and mean urinary red blood cells were 36.6±35.3/high-powered field. Histologically, mesangial hypercellularity was present in 47.6% of patients, endothelial hypercellularity in 44.3%, segmental sclerosis in 74.6%, and tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis in 28.8% by Oxford classification. Initial treatment consisted of corticosteroids in 26.9% of patients, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor in 28.9%, and tonsillectomy plus steroids in 11.7%. The 10-, 20-, and 30-year renal survival rates were 84.3, 66.6, and 50.3%, respectively. Tonsillectomy plus steroids dramatically improved renal outcome. Cox multivariate regression analysis showed that higher proteinuria, lower eGFR, and higher uric acid at the time of renal biopsy were independent risk factors for the development of end stage renal disease (ESRD).

Conclusions: IgAN is not a benign disease, with about 50% of patients progressing to ESRD within 30 years despite treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / diagnosis*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Kidney / pathology
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.