Background: There is controversy in medical literature over the outcome of patients with lupus nephritis (LN) class II. The aim of this study was to explore the risk of histological transformation (HT) and possible factors related to negative response to treatment in patients with mesangial LN class II.
Methods: A retrospective and multicenter study was carried out that includes patients who had received a diagnosis of LN class II on their first renal biopsy. Creatinine, urine sediment, and proteinuria were recorded at the time of the first biopsy, 6 months, and 1, 2, and 5 years after the first biopsy. Response to treatment, HT, and long-term outcome were evaluated.
Results: Forty-one patients were included. The manifestation at first biopsy was proteinuria greater than 0.5 g/d in 28 patients (68.29%; 8 [28.57%] of 28 patients had nephrotic syndrome), hematuria in 18 patients (43.90%), and deterioration of renal function in 3 patients (7.31%). During the follow-up (median, 8 years; range, 1–35 years), a new biopsy was performed in 18 patients (43.90%), and in 17 patients (17/18 [94.44%]), there was HT. Median time at rebiopsy was 32 months (range, 11–305 months). Of the 18 patients who had a second biopsy, 10 (55.55%) were on hydroxychloroquine versus 100% (19/19) of patients who did not undergo the procedure (P = 0.001). A year after the first renal biopsy, there are data available from 34 patients; of them, 24 patients (70.58%) had achieved response, and 10 patients (29.41%) had no response (NR) (missing data in 7). A higher 24-hour urinary protein at 6 months was predictor of worse outcome at 1 year, with statistical significance difference for the nonresponder group (median proteinuria, 2.3 g/d [range, 0–4.7 g/d]) compared with responders (median proteinuria, 0.28 g/d [range, 0–1.7 g/d]) (P = 0.0133).
In the long-term follow-up (5 years), HT was the main cause of unfavorable outcome and was measured in 78.57% of patients (11/14 patients).
Conclusions: This series shows a high rate of HT in long-term follow-up. Proteinuria at 6 months made it possible to set aside patients who will have an unfavorable outcome in the long term and who will thus benefit from a more aggressive treatment. The results suggest that hydroxychloroquine had a nephroprotective effect.
From the Instituto de InvestigacionesMédicas Alfredo Lanari, Caba, Argentina
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Correspondence: Maria Victoria Collado, MD, Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas Alfredo Lanari, Combatientes de Malvinas 3150, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires 1427, Argentina.
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