INTRODUCTION: Lupus nephritis (LN) is an ominous complication of systemic lupus erythematosus, and the risk factors for the disease progression are not well characterized. METHODS: In a retrospective study, the authors evaluated the mode of presentation and outcomes of 163 consecutive patients with biopsy-proven LN, who presented to the center between January 1999 and September 2008. Using stepwise logistic regression analysis, the authors assessed risk factors independently associated with response to treatment and to progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in proliferative LN (PLN). RESULTS: Ninety percent of the patients belonged to minority population. Among 122 patients with class III and IV LN (PLN), 76 patients received intravenous cyclophosphamide and 38 patients received mycophenolate for induction, whereas 34 patients received intravenous cyclophosphamide and 63 patients received mycophenolate for maintenance. Thirty-six (30%) patients with PLN progressed to ESRD, and 3 patients died over a mean follow-up of 37.5 months. In multivariate analysis, chronicity index (CI) (P = 0.0007) and hypertension (P = 0.042) positively correlated with progression to ESRD and death, and CI was associated with increased probability of nonresponse to treatment (P = 0.001). In addition, mycophenolate as maintenance agent was associated with increased likelihood of sustained complete remission and partial remission (P = 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with LN, hypertension and a high CI are independent risk factors for progression to ESRD or death. Furthermore, a high CI is associated with poor response, and mycophenolate as a maintenance agent may improve the response to treatment.
- Lupus nephritis
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