Epidemiology of biopsy-proven glomerulonephritis in Queensland adults

Nephrology (Carlton). 2016 Jan;21(1):28-34. doi: 10.1111/nep.12559.


Aim: There is a paucity of data pertaining to the incidence of biopsy-proven glomerulonephritis (GN) in Australia. This retrospective study aims to review the data from all adult native renal biopsies performed in the state of Queensland from 2002 to 2011--comparing results with centres from across the world.

Methods: Pathology reports of 3697 adult native kidney biopsies were reviewed, of which 2048 had GN diagnoses. Age, gender, clinical indication and histopathology findings were compared.

Results: The average age at biopsy was 48 ± 17 years. Male preponderance was noted overall (∼60%), with lupus nephritis being the only individual GN with female predilection. The average rate of biopsy was 12.04 per hundred thousand people per year (php/yr). Nephrotic and nephritic syndromes comprised approximately 75% of all clinical indications that lead to GN diagnoses. IgA nephropathy (1.41 php/yr) was the most common primary GN followed by focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (1.02 php/yr) and crescentic GN (0.73 php/yr). Diabetic nephropathy (0.84 php/yr), lupus nephritis (0.69 php/yr) and amyloidosis (0.19 php/yr) were the most commonly identified secondary GN.

Conclusion: IgA nephropathy is the predominant primary GN in Queensland, and nephrotic syndrome the most common indication for a renal biopsy. While crescentic GN incidence has significantly increased with time, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis incidence has not shown any trend. Incidence of GN overall appears to increase with age. The annual rate of biopsy in this study appears lower than previously published in an Australian population.

Keywords: Australia; Queensland; epidemiology; glomerulonephritis; nephritic.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Glomerulonephritis / epidemiology*
  • Glomerulonephritis / pathology*
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / epidemiology
  • Glomerulonephritis, IGA / pathology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / epidemiology
  • Glomerulosclerosis, Focal Segmental / pathology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Glomerulus / pathology*
  • Lupus Nephritis / epidemiology
  • Lupus Nephritis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Nephrotic Syndrome / pathology
  • Queensland / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors