Idiopathic membranous nephropathy: Clinical and histologic prognostic features and treatment patterns over time at a tertiary referral center

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Nephrology








Corticosteroids; End-stage renal disease; Idiopathic membranous nephropathy; Impaired renal function


Background: Idiopathic membranous nephropathy (i-MN) is a leading cause of nephrotic syndrome in adults and results in end-stage renal disease in approximately one third of patients. There are few large, long-term US studies evaluating clinical and histologic prognostic factors in i-MN. Methods: We describe 132 patients with biopsy-proven i-MN who were followed for a mean period of 68 months at our tertiary referral center from 1977 to 2009, and we analyzed clinical and histologic features that predicted renal outcomes. Results: The presence of hypertension and treating physician's decision to institute immunosuppression were negative predictors of attaining complete or partial remission. Among clinical variables, impaired renal function (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2) at time of presentation was the only variable at presentation associated with an increased risk of reaching end-stage renal disease. The use of statins and RAAS blockers were protective. The choice of corticosteroids as the initial immunosuppressive agent by referring physicians decreased over time but even in the most recent era (2000-2008) was significant (33%). Conclusion: Renal function at presentation and non-white race were the main predictors of a worse renal outcome. Corticosteroid therapy is still being adopted as first-line therapy in a significant number of patients in this era. The development of guidelines may help clarify the treatment strategies of i-MN. © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.