A number of clinical laboratory and biopsy-derived parameters were assessed for their prognostic significance in the short (24 months), intermediate (60 months) and long terms in 45 patients (43 female, 2 male) with diffuse proliferative lupus glomerulonephritis (DPGN). The factors evaluated were serum creatinine (SCr) and urinary protein at time of biopsy, initial dose of prednisone and immunosuppressive after biopsy, activity index (AI), chronicity index (CI), their individual components, extent of extraglomerular (tubulo-interstitial) immune deposits (EGD) and mean number of intraglomerular monocytes per glomerulus (NSE index). Using proportional hazards analysis to evaluate the parameters, SCr (P = 0.003), AI (P = 0.005) and NSE index (P = 0.038) were shown to be significant predictors of outcome when all variables except the components of AI and CI were considered. When AI and CI were omitted but their components included, SCr (P = 0.0005), NSE index (P = 0.024), extent of karyorrhexis (P = 0.035) and glomerulosclerosis (P = 0.033) were then demonstrated to be significant prognostic factors of DPGN. The results suggest that intraglomerular monocyte infiltration has a protective effect and confirm that AI index is a relatively powerful predictor of outcome. Histologic and nonhistologic biopsy factors contribute significant additional prognostic information to that provided by SCr.