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J Rheumatol. 2012 Jan;39(1):79-85. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.110532. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Frequency of class III and IV nephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus without clinical renal involvement: an analysis of predictive measures.

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  • 1Institute of Rheumatology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, 10-22 Kawada-cho, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 162-0054, Japan.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the frequency of International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class III or IV lupus nephritis in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) without clinical renal involvement.

METHODS:

We investigated the renal pathology of 195 patients with SLE, including 86 patients without clinical renal involvement.

RESULTS:

Lupus nephritis other than class I was found in 58% of the patients without clinical renal involvement, and class III and IV nephritis was found in 15% of these patients. To reveal the predictive measures involved in class III or IV lupus nephritis, we explored the clinical measures in patients with SLE who did not have clinical renal involvement. Anti-dsDNA antibody titers were significantly higher (p = 0.0266) and C3 values were significantly lower (p = 0.0073) in patients with class III or IV lupus nephritis than in patients without class III or IV lupus nephritis. The sensitivity and specificity values were 77% and 73%, respectively, for cutoff levels of both 40 IU/ml for anti-dsDNA antibodies and 55 mg/dl for C3 (OR 8.8, p = 0.0011).

CONCLUSION:

The frequency of nephritis, including ISN/RPS class III and IV, was unexpectedly high in SLE patients without clinical renal involvement. ISN/RPS class III or IV lupus nephritis could be hidden in patients with SLE who present both a high titer of anti-dsDNA antibody and a low concentration of C3, even when they have clinically normal urinary findings and renal function.

PMID:
22089455
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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