Lupus nephritis (LN) may lead to endstage kidney disease (ESKD) in 22% of patients over a period of 15 years, with the risk being particularly higher in diffuse proliferative forms. The rate of kidney function decline varies. However, a catastrophic course leading to ESKD within a few years from onset is uncommon. The aim of the present study was to assess the factors associated with rapid progression to ESKD in patients with LN.

Methods. Patients from the Toronto Lupus Clinic with biopsy-proven LN at presentation and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) 60 mL/min/1.73 m2, who developed ESKD within 3 years were retrieved. Pathology reports were reviewed with particular emphasis on distinct histopathologic features. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and therapeutic variables were also analyzed.

Results. Ten patients (1.8% of the total LN population) developed ESKD within 3 years of diagnosis. Their mean age was 34.2 ± 7.3 years, mean time to ESKD 19.2 ± 12.4 months, initial eGFR 90.2 ± 24.9 mL/min/1.73 m2, proteinuria 2.7 ± 1.04 g/24 h. The median rate of kidney function decline was > 43 mL/min/1.73 m2/year. One patient had LN class III, 5 had LN class IV, 2 had membranous LN (class V), and another 2 had mixed IV/V.

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