Objective: Delayed detection of LN associates with worse outcomes. There are conflicting recommendations regarding a threshold level of proteinuria at which biopsy will likely yield actionable management. This study addressed the association of urine protein:creatinine ratios (UPCR) with clinical characteristics and investigated the incidence of proliferative and membranous histology in patients with a UPCR between 0.5 and 1.
Methods: A total of 275 SLE patients (113 first biopsy, 162 repeat) were enrolled in the multicentre multi-ethnic/racial Accelerating Medicines Partnership across 15 US sites at the time of a clinically indicated renal biopsy. Patients were followed for 1 year.
Results: At biopsy, 54 patients had UPCR <1 and 221 had UPCR ≥1. Independent of UPCR or biopsy number, a majority (92%) of patients had class III, IV, V or mixed histology. Moreover, patients with UPCR <1 and class III, IV, V, or mixed had a median activity index of 4.5 and chronicity index of 3, yet 39% of these patients had an inactive sediment. Neither anti-dsDNA nor low complement distinguished class I or II from III, IV, V or mixed in patients with UPCR <1. Of 29 patients with baseline UPCR <1 and class III, IV, V or mixed, 23 (79%) had a UPCR <0.5 at 1 year.
Conclusion: In this prospective study, three-quarters of patients with UPCR <1 had histology showing class III, IV, V or mixed with accompanying activity and chronicity despite an inactive sediment or normal serologies. These data support renal biopsy at thresholds lower than a UPCR of 1.
Keywords: diagnosis; lupus nephritis; systemic lupus erythematosus.
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