Objective: To explore the predictive value of the proportion of glomerulosclerosis (GS) incidences on the progression of membranous nephropathy with non-nephrotic proteinuria (NNP).
Methods: This study was a single-center, retrospective, cohort study. Patients with biopsy-proven idiopathic membranous nephropathy were divided into three groups based on the proportion of glomerular sclerosis, and their demographic, clinical, and pathological data were compared. The proportions of primary and secondary endpoints were recorded, and the relationship between GS and primary outcomes (progression to nephrotic syndrome, complete remission, and persistent NNP) and the renal composite endpoint was analyzed.
Results: A total of 112 patients were divided into three groups according to the proportions of glomerulosclerosis. The median follow-up time was 26.5 (13-51) months. There were significant differences in blood pressure (p < 0.01), renal interstitial lesions (p < 0.0001), and primary endpoints (p = 0.005). The survival analysis showed that prognosis was significantly worse in patients with a high proportion of GS than in those patients with a middle and low proportion of GS (p < 0.001). The Cox multivariate analysis showed that after adjusting for age, sex, BP, 24-h urinary protein, serum creatinine, treatment scheme, and pathological factors, the risk of renal composite outcome in the low proportion group was 0.076 times higher than that in the high proportion group (p = 0.009, HR = 0.076, 95% CI: 0.011-0.532).
Conclusion: A high level of glomerulosclerosis was an independent risk factor for the prognosis of patients with membranous nephropathy with non-nephrotic proteinuria.
Keywords: Membranous nephropathy; glomerulosclerosis; non-nephrotic proteinuria; renal composite endpoint; risk factor.