European Journal of Rheumatology
Original Article

Clinical impact of repeat renal biopsies in patients with lupus nephritis: Renal biopsy is essential especially later in the course of the disease

1.

Department of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Laiko Hospital, Athens, Greece

2.

1st Department of Pathology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, Laiko Hospital, Athens, Greece

Eur J Rheumatol 2020; 7: 2-8
DOI: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2019.18146
Read: 120 Downloads: 50 Published: 25 November 2019

Objective: The clinical impact of repeat renal biopsies in patients with lupus nephritis (LN) is still debatable. The aim of this retrospective analysis was to assess whether repeat renal biopsy is a reliable tool in guiding therapeutic decisions.

Methods: Laboratory and histological parameters and therapeutic changes in 35 patients with LN and repeat renal biopsies were retrospectively analyzed. Biopsies were performed in the presence of clinical evidence of an active glomerular disease. Biopsy specimens were retrospectively re-assessed by two renal pathologists and were compared according to the last International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society classification.

Results: Thirty-five patients had two, 13 had three, 5 had four, 4 had five, and 1 had six renal biopsies. Fifty-eight comparisons of renal biopsies were made. Median times between the first and second, second and third, third and fourth, and fourth and fifth biopsies were 31, 27, 34, and 28 months, respectively. The mean activity indices from the first to the fifth biopsy were 8.7, 6.6, 7.8, 9.4, and 4.7, whereas the mean chronicity indices were 1.7, 2.3, 4.3, 5.2, and 7.7, respectively. Conversion was observed in 65.5% of cases with the most frequent (21%) being between classes III and IV. Conversion to a more severe type of nephritis occurred in 19% of cases. There was no correlation of laboratory parameters to the type of nephritis upon conversion. In 79% of cases, immunosuppressive therapy was modified after repeat biopsy.

Conclusion: Repeat biopsy is a reliable tool for monitoring the activity and chronicity status of LN and for tailoring immunosuppressive therapy to the needs of the patient, especially late in the course of the disease.

Cite this article as: Marinaki S, Kapsia E, Liapis G, Gakiopoulou H, Skalioti C, Kolovou K, John Boletis. Clinical impact of repeat renal biopsies in patients with lupus nephritis: Renal biopsy is essential especially later in the course of the disease. Eur J Rheumatol 2020; 7(1): 2-8.

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ISSN2147-9720 EISSN 2148-4279
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