Sixty two children were included in a collaborative study to determine the prognosis for lupus nephritis. Renal involvement was confirmed by histologic study of renal biopsy specimens which were classified into five categories: minimal lesions (11 cases, 18%); focal segmental glomerulonephritis (15, 24%); diffuse proliferative glomerulonephritis (30, 48%); membranous nephropathy (5, 8%); and glomerular sclerosis (1,2%). That the predictive value of the early biopsy is limited was indicated by the most recent status of 37 patients five years after onset--total remission (13, 35%); urinary abnormalities or nephrotic syndrome (7, 19%); moderate renal failure (4, 11%); chronic renal failure (7, 19%); and hypertension (6, 16%). Treatment did not always prevent the development of severe renal failure; in particular, plasmapheresis failed to avert the death of one patient and the development of chronic renal failure in two others.
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