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      Prognosis in IgA Nephropathy: 30-Year Analysis of 1,012 Patients at a Single Center in Japan

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          Little is known about the long-term prognosis of patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN).


          This retrospective cohort analysis evaluated clinical and histological findings at the time of renal biopsy, initial treatment, patient outcomes over 30 years, and risk factors associated with progression in 1,012 patients diagnosed with IgAN at our center since 1974.


          Of the 1,012 patients, 40.5% were male. Mean patient age was 33±12 years and mean blood pressure was 122±17/75±13 mmHg. Mean serum creatinine concentration was 0.89±0.42 mg/dL, and mean estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was 78.5±26.2 ml/min/1.73 m 2. Mean proteinuria was 1.19±1.61 g/day, and mean urinary red blood cells were 36.6±35.3/high-powered field. Histologically, mesangial hypercellularity was present in 47.6% of patients, endothelial hypercellularity in 44.3%, segmental sclerosis in 74.6%, and tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis in 28.8% by Oxford classification. Initial treatment consisted of corticosteroids in 26.9% of patients, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitor in 28.9%, and tonsillectomy plus steroids in 11.7%. The 10-, 20-, and 30-year renal survival rates were 84.3, 66.6, and 50.3%, respectively. Tonsillectomy plus steroids dramatically improved renal outcome. Cox multivariate regression analysis showed that higher proteinuria, lower eGFR, and higher uric acid at the time of renal biopsy were independent risk factors for the development of end stage renal disease (ESRD).


          IgAN is not a benign disease, with about 50% of patients progressing to ESRD within 30 years despite treatment.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Long-term renal survival and related risk factors in patients with IgA nephropathy: results from a cohort of 1155 cases in a Chinese adult population.

          We sought to identify the long-term renal survival rate and related risk factors of progression to renal failure in Chinese adult patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) and to quantify the effects of proteinuria during the follow-up on outcome in patients with IgAN. Patients with biopsy-proven primary IgAN in the Nanjing Glomerulonephritis Registry were studied. Renal survival and the relationships between clinical parameters and renal outcomes were assessed. One thousand one hundred and fifty-five patients were enrolled in this study. The 10-, 15- and 20-year cumulative renal survival rates, calculated by Kaplan-Meier method, were 83, 74 and 64%, respectively. At the time of biopsy, proteinuria>1.0 g/day [hazard ratio (HR) 3.2, P 1.0 g/day were associated with a 9.4-fold risk than patients with TA-P<1.0 g/day (P<0.001) and 46.5-fold risk than those with TA-P<0.5 g/day (P<0.001). Moreover, patients who achieved TA-P<0.5 g/day benefit much more than those with TA-P between 0.5 and 1.0 g/day (HR 13.1, P<0.001). Thirty-six percent of Chinese adult patients with IgAN progress to end stage renal disease within 20 years. Five clinical features-higher proteinuria, hypertension, impaired renal function, hypoproteinemia and hyperuricemia-are independent predictors of an unfavorable renal outcome. The basic goal of anti-proteinuric therapy for Chinese patients is to lower proteinuria<1.0 g/day and the optimal goal is to lower proteinuria to <0.5 g/day.
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            Corticosteroid effectiveness in IgA nephropathy: long-term results of a randomized, controlled trial.

            Proteinuria plays a causal role in the progression of IgA nephropathy (IgAN). A previous controlled trial showed that steroids are effective in reducing proteinuria and preserving renal function in patients with IgAN. The objective of this study was to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of steroids in IgAN, examine the trend of proteinuria during follow-up (starting from the hypothesis that the degree of reduction in proteinuria may influence IgAN outcome), and evaluate how histologic scores can influence steroid response. A secondary analysis of a multicenter, randomized, controlled trial of 86 adult IgAN patients who were receiving supportive therapy or intravenous methylprednisolone plus oral prednisone for 6 mo was conducted. Ten-year renal survival was significantly better in the steroid than in the control group (97% versus 53%; log rank test P = 0.0003). In the 72 patients who did not reach the end point (doubling in baseline serum creatinine), median proteinuria significantly decreased (1.9 g/24 h at baseline, 1.1 g/24 h after 6 mo, and 0.6 g/24 h after a median of 7 yr). In the 14 progressive patients, proteinuria increased from a median of 1.7 g/24 h at baseline to 2.0 g/24 h after 6 mo and 3.3 g/24 h after a median of 5 yr. Steroids were effective in every histologic class. Cox multivariate regression analyses showed that, in addition to steroids, a low baseline histologic score, a reduction in proteinuria after 6 mo, and no increase in proteinuria during follow-up all were independent predictors of a beneficial outcome. Steroids significantly reduce proteinuria and protect against renal function deterioration in IgAN. The histologic picture and proteinuria during early and late follow-up improve the prediction of outcome, but considerable variability remains outside the model.
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              Corticosteroids in IgA nephropathy: a randomised controlled trial.

              IgA nephropathy is progressive in most cases and has no established therapy. In this randomised trial, we assessed the efficacy and safety of a 6-month course of steroids in this disorder. Between July, 1987, and September, 1995, we enrolled 86 consecutive patients from seven renal units in Italy. Eligible patients had biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy, urine protein excretion of 1.0-3.5 g daily, and plasma creatinine concentrations of 133 micromol/L (1.5 mg/dL) or less. Patients were randomly assigned either supportive therapy alone or steroid treatment (intravenous methylprednisolone 1 g per day for 3 consecutive days at the beginning of months 1, 3, and 5, plus oral prednisone 0.5 mg/kg on alternate days for 6 months). The primary endpoint was deterioration in renal function defined as a 50% or 100% increase in plasma creatinine concentration from baseline. Analyses were by intention to treat. Nine of 43 patients in the steroid group and 14 of 43 in the control group reached the primary endpoint (a 50% increase in plasma creatinine) by year 5 of follow-up (p<0.048). Factors influencing renal survival were vascular sclerosis (relative risk for 1-point increase in score 1.53, p=0.0347), female sex (0.22, p=0.0163), and steroid therapy (0.41, p=0.0439). All 43 patients assigned steroids completed the treatment without experiencing any important side-effects. A 6-month course of steroid treatment protected against deterioration in renal function in IgA nephropathy with no notable adverse effects during follow-up. An increase in urinary protein excretion could be a marker indicating the need for a second course of steroid therapy.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                21 March 2014
                : 9
                : 3
                Department of Medicine, Kidney Center, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo, Japan
                Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale (INSERM), France
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: TM HK MI TT KU KN. Performed the experiments: TM KT CI YO AO. Analyzed the data: TM KT CI YO AO. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: TM TT KN. Wrote the paper: TM.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 8
                The authors have no support or funding to report.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Renal System
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Critical Care and Emergency Medicine
                Chronic Kidney Disease
                Renal Cancer
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Research Design
                Clinical Research Design
                Cohort Studies
                Observational Studies
                Retrospective Studies



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