Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of serum immunoglobulin A/complement factor 3 (IgA/C3) ratio for predicting histological severity of kidney lesions in children with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) based on World Health Organization (WHO) and the Oxford classification (OC).
Methods: We studied 89 children with IgAN with a mean age of 11.38 ± 4.1 years (range 2-18 years). Based on available medical records, we retrospectively evaluated clinical data, IgA/C3 ratio, and kidney biopsy findings using the five-grade WHO classification and the OC The mesangial hypercellularity (M), endocapillary hypercellularity (E), segmental sclerosis (S), tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis (T) (MEST) score (absent = 0, present = 1) calculated as the sum of M+E+S+T ranging from 0 to 4.
Results: Mean IgA/C3 ratio values were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in patients with M1, S1, and T1 compared with M0, S0, and T0, respectively (P < 0.05); there were no differences in the WHO classification. We found a significant positive correlation between the IgA/C3 ratio and proteinuria (r = 0.24) and determined optimal cutoff values of the IgA/C3 ratio, with a corresponding confidence interval for specific MEST scores.
Conclusions: The IgA/C3 ratio in children with IgAN may be a useful marker of the severity of lesions found in kidney biopsy as evaluated using the OC.