Since patients’ prognosis depends on the lesions identified by kidney biopsy (KB), we aimed to evaluate predictors of non-diabetic kidney disease (NDKD) in diabetic subjects and to assess their kidney outcome as compared to diabetic nephropathy (DN).
180 adults diagnosed by KB with DN (n = 120) or NDKD (n = 60), over a 10 year time-span, were retrospectively included and followed for a mean of 48.1 (95% CI 43.1-53.1) months. Patients with superimposed specific lesions over DN and with steroid-induced diabetes were excluded. The primary endpoint was renal replacement therapy (RRT) initiation. Only subjects who were alive at the end of follow-up (73 with DN and 38 with NDKD) entered the kidney survival analysis.
Membranous nephropathy (9%) was the most common NDKD. Predictors for NDKD were shorter duration of diabetes (OR 0.88; 95% CI 0.81-0.96, p = 0.004), absence of diabetic retinopathy (OR 0.08; 95% CI 0.01-0.44, p = 0.003), and nephrotic syndrome at presentation (OR 3.55; 95% CI 1.39-9.04, p = 0.008). Subjects with NDKD needed RRT later as those with DN [82 (95% CI 67-97.1) vs. 45 (95% CI 34-56.5) months, p = 0.001]. In an adjusted Cox model, biopsy diagnosed DN independently predicted RRT (OR 4.43; 95% CI 1.54-12.7, p = 0.006). Other predictors were lower eGFR, higher proteinuria, and absence of renin-angiotensin inhibitor therapy.
As one-third of the investigated subjects had NDKD, and NDKD was associated with a better kidney survival, independently predicted by the type of glomerular lesion, KB appears the most reliable tool to guide therapy and to assess outcome in patients with diabetic kidney disease.

For latest news and updates