Lupus nephritis in children: A longitudinal study of prognostic factors and therapy

Noosha Baqi, Shohreh Moazami, Anup Singh, Hadi Ahmad, Shivaiha Balachandra, Amir Tejani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations


There are only a few studies in the pediatric literature that have analyzed risk factors for renal failure in childhood lupus nephritis. This study reviewed the outcome at 56 children (4 to 18 yr of age) with lupus nephritis seen at the authors' institution over a 27-yr period (1965 to 1992), in relation to risk factors and therapy. All children underwent percutaneous renal biopsy before the institution of therapy. From 1965 to 1987, treatment for Class III and IV lupus nephritis consisted of high-dose pulse methylprednisolone, 500 mg daily for 10 days, followed by oral prednisone. From 1987 to 19921 IV cyclophosphamide was given monthly for 6 months and then every 3 months for a period of 3 yr for patients with Class III and Class IV disease. Of 56 children, 42% had Class IV and 21% had Class III histology at onset. The mean follow-up period was 4 yr and ranged from 0.5 to 20.3 yr. Life-table analysis showed that the cumulative proportion of patients surviving was 82.8% at 5 yr and 67.7% at 10 yr. Renal survival was 44.4% at 5 yr and 29% at 10 yr, after the initial diagnosis of lupus nephritis was made. Age at diagnosis, race, sex, initial serum creatinine level, and the presence of proteinuria, hypertension, and DNA antibody titers were reviewed with respect to disease progression, as was the histological class at diagnosis. The effect of the different therapies was also examined. Univariate analysis revealed a significant association of progression to ESRD with an elevated serum creatinine level (P = 0.021), decreased C3 complement (P = 0.024), hypertension (P = 0.053), and histological classification of Class IV lupus nephritis (P = 0.031). Multivariate analysis demonstrated that progression to ESRD was independently associated with an initial Class IV histology (relative risk, 1.78; P < 0.003), hypertension at presentation (relative risk, 1.67; P < 0.003), and a low C3 complement level in conjunction with a high creatinine level (relative risk, 1.52; P < 0.028). Among children with lupus nephritis, those with Class IV disease, hypertension, high creatinine levels, and low C3 complement levels at the time of diagnosis are at increased risk for ESRD. Initial histological classification of lupus nephritis was the most reliable prognostic factor for disease progression. This study was unable to detect a difference in outcome for the two treatment groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-929
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Disease progression
  • Prognosis
  • Renal failure
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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