Yonsei Med J.  2020 Nov;61(11):951-957. 10.3349/ymj.2020.61.11.951.

Worse Renal Presentation and Prognosis in Initial-Onset Lupus Nephritis than Early-Onset Lupus Nephritis

  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To compare the clinical characteristics and renal outcomes between patients who initially had lupus nephritis (LN) at the onset of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (initial-onset LN) and those who developed LN within 5 years after SLE onset (early-onset LN).
Materials and Methods
SLE patients with biopsy-proven LN were retrospectively reviewed. The clinical parameters and renal outcomes were compared between initial-onset and early-onset LN groups. We used Cox regression analysis to estimate risk of worse renal outcomes according to the onset time of LN.
Of all 136 LN patients, 92 (67.6%) and 44 (32.4%) patients were classified into the initial-onset and early-onset LN groups, respectively. The initial-onset LN group had higher prevalences of class IV LN (54.3% vs. 34.1%, ,p=0.027), impaired renal function (34.8% vs. 11.4%, p=0.004), microscopic hematuria (73.9% vs. 54.5%, p=0.024), and higher urine protein/creatinine ratio [4626.1 (2180.0–6788.3) mg/g vs. 2410.0 (1265.0–5168.5) mg/g,p=0.006] at LN diagnosis. Renal relapse (46.3% vs. 25.7%, p=0.039) and progression to chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) were more common (24.4% vs. 8.3%, p=0.042) in the initial-onset LN group. In Cox regression analysis, the initial-onset LN group had higher risks of renal relapse [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 3.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.51–8.35,p=0.004] and progression to CKD or ESRD (adjusted HR 4.57, 95% CI 1.03–20.17,p=0.045), compared with the early-onset LN group.
Patients with LN at SLE onset may have more severe renal presentations and experience worse renal outcomes than those who develop LN within 5 years.


Systemic lupus erythematosus; lupus nephritis; prognosis
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