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Revisiting vasculopathy in lupus nephritis: A renal biopsy evaluation study

1 Department of Pathology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Nephrology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Megha S Uppin,
Department of Pathology, Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Punjagutta, Hyderabad - 500 082, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijn.IJN_131_20

Introduction: The classification of lupus nephritis (LN) on biopsy is essentially focused on morphologic changes in glomeruli. Renal vascular lesions are not addressed in detail in current classifications and are often overlooked. We aimed to determine the prevalence of vascular lesions in LN on biopsies and to compare these with biopsies not showing the vasculopathies. Methods: A total of 740 renal biopsies of LN were analysedfor presence of vasculopathies from January 2013 to June 2019. Of these, 527 (71.2%) biopsies showed vascular lesions (vascular group), which were further categorized into known five subtypes according to morphology and immunofluorescence (IF) findings. Remaining 213 (28.8%) biopsies constituted non-vascular group. Clinical, demographic and laboratory parameters were compared between these two groups. Results: The mean age was 27.95 ± 9.8 years and 27.0 ± 9.4 years in the vascular and non-vascular groups respectively with higher M:F (1:2 > 1:7) in vascular group. Majority of vasculopathies (257, 48.7%) were found in biopsies with class IV LN. Haematuria (69.8% vs. 20.1%), proteinuria (100% vs. 62%), anemia (48.3% vs. 3.60%) and hypertension (39.8% vs. 8.46%) were common in group I. Uncomplicated vascular immune deposits (426; 80.8%) were the most common vasculopathy and true vasculitis (4;0.8%) was least common. Activity and chronicity indices (7.35 ± 3 and 2.45 ± 1.5, respectively) were significantly higher in the vascular group.Activity index was highest in uncomplicated vascular immune deposits (7.45 ± 2.8) and chronicity index was highest in non-specific sclerotic vascular lesions (2.7 ± 1.6). Conclusion: Vascular involvement is common in LN. Uncomplicated vascular immune deposits were common vasculopathies whereas true vasculitis was least common. The morphology and IF both need to be carefully screened for the diagnosis of vasculopathies.

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Indian Journal of Nephrology
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