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Lupus. 2013 Mar;22(3):328-32. doi: 10.1177/0961203312474084. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Lupus nephritis: a 15-year multi-centre experience in the UK.

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Department of Rheumatology, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, UK.



Our aim was to audit the outcome of lupus nephritis (LN) at three East Midlands centres.


We undertook a retrospective review of all biopsy-proven LN types III-V 1995-2010.


In total, 61 patients with LN were identified, with a median follow-up of 68 months. LN was present at the time of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnosis in 20 patients. The median time from SLE diagnosis to the first LN episode was 5.3 years. Some 35 patients received IV cyclophosphamide and 17 received mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) as induction therapy; 81.8% of those treated with cyclophosphamide and 81.3% with MMF had at least 'improved' according to the ACR-response criteria 6 months from induction; 33.3% and 37.5%, respectively, had a 'complete' response. MMF and azathioprine were the most frequently used maintenance therapy. We found that 32.8% experienced a flare after a mean post-induction time of 3.5 years, irrespective of the maintenance therapy used, and 43.8% of partial responders flared compared with 4.8% of complete responders. End-stage renal failure developed in 8.2%.


Overall, outcomes (response, flare-rate, end-stage renal failure) were comparable with European clinical studies. Partial responders are more likely to flare compared with complete responders. The results highlight that LN can occur, and flare, after many years of SLE, emphasizing the importance of continued vigilance for LN in all patients.

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