One hundred and sixty two cases of lupus nephritis biopsied over three years in Thailand were studied. A pattern of clinical and histological renal disease very similar to that seen in the United States or Europe emerged. The predominant histological type was World Health Organisation class IV (diffuse proliferative; 58.6%). Patients with renal insufficiency (creatinine greater than or equal to 2 mg/100 ml) or hypertension at the time of biopsy had a considerably worse three year survival. Certain features such as sclerotic glomeruli, tubular atrophy, and an interstitial mononuclear cell infiltrate were significantly associated with a worse outcome (0.05 greater than p greater than 0.01), and patients who died with poor renal function had significantly higher chronicity scores than those in other groups (p less than 0.05). These findings emphasise the importance of chronic renal damage in the morbidity and mortality of patients with lupus nephritis.
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