South African Medical Journal

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Lupus nephritis . Part ll. A clinicopathological correlation and study of outcome

A.M. Halland, W.D. Bates, R.D. Tribe, R Cooper, D Chalton, P Klemp


A 5-year retrospective study of lupus nephritis at Tygerberg Hospital was performed in an attempt to document the clinical and histological spectrum of the disease and to study the outcome of the Illness. Activity and chronicity scores were used in addition to the World Health Organisation classification system. Of 55 biopsies from 51 patients reviewed, 6 were class 11,13 class Ill, 32 class IV and 4 class V. There were 19 deaths and in 15 of these the histological classification was IV. Renal failure and infections, often with uncommon pathogens, were the most important causes of death. Serum creatinine values and creatinine clearance at the time of biopsy or follow-up, and hypertension at follow-up showed a significant relationship with outcome. WHO class IV was associated with a poor outcome (P = 0,048) when compared with the other WHO classes combined. Activity scores showed a significant relationship to the outcome (P = 0,018). The anticardiolipin antibodies IgG and IgM were not associated with WHO class or outcome. The study revealed a spectrum of histological results similar to that of other studies, with a high mortality rate, particularly in class IV disease. Poor renal function, persistent hypertension, histological classification IV, and high activity scores were found to be important prognostic indicators.

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