Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lupus. 2009 Oct;18(12):1091-5. doi: 10.1177/0961203309106602.

Very long-term outcome of pure lupus membranous nephropathy treated with glucocorticoid and azathioprine.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong, SAR China.


The aim of this study is to report the long-term outcome of pure membranous lupus nephropathy (MLN) treated with glucocorticoid and azathioprine (AZA). A cohort of patients with SLE who had biopsy-confirmed pure MLN was treated initially with prednisone (0.8-1.0 mg/kg/day) and AZA (targeted to 2 mg/kg/day). Patients were followed for the following outcomes: remission rate at 12 months, renal flares, extra-renal flares and renal function deterioration. The cumulative risks of renal flares and renal function decline were studied by Kaplan-Meier analysis. Thirty-eight patients were studied (31 women; age 35.0 +/- 9.2 years; mean SLE duration 48.5 +/- 59 months; WHO Class Va 45%, Vb 55%). Twenty-two (58%) patients were nephrotic and four (11%) were hypertensive at presentation. All patients were treated with prednisolone (0.85 +/- 0.24 mg/kg/day) and AZA (1.72 +/- 0.43 mg/kg/day). At 12 months, 24 (67%) patients achieved complete response (CR), 8 (22%) had partial response (PR) and 4 (11%) were treatment resistant. After a follow-up of 12 +/- 5.8 years, 19 episodes of renal flares (15 proteinuric and 4 nephritic) occurred in 13 (34%) patients. The cumulative risks of renal flares at 5, 10 and 15 years were 19.4, 32.0 and 36.8%, respectively. Retreatment with an augmented dosage of prednisolone, +/- another immunosuppressive agent, resulted in CR and PR in 15 (79%) and 4 (21%) of these flare episodes, respectively. At last visit, three (8%) patients had doubling of serum creatinine, whereas six (16%) patients had decline of creatinine clearance by >/=30% (none developed end stage renal failure). Seven episodes of thromboembolic complications occurred in five (13%) patients and 11 episodes of infective complications (five major, six minor) were reported in seven (18%) patients. In the absence of co-existing proliferative lesions, MLN runs a relatively benign course with low risk of renal function deterioration. Treatment with high-dose prednisolone and AZA is effective, inexpensive and well-tolerated. Prolonged observation shows that one of three patients develop renal flares, which are often proteinuric and responsive to reinduction therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center