Renal function and urinary protein excretion (UPE) were investigated at the time of kidney biopsy in 24 children with IgA nephropathy. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and effective renal plasma flow (ERPF) were measured by clearances of inulin and para-aminohippuric acid. For UPE albumin, IgG, beta 2 microglobulin, and creatinine were analysed. Glomerular global/segmental sclerosis and crescents in the biopsy specimens were assessed, and glomerular and tubulointerstitial changes classified on a five degree scale. The patients with tubulointerstitial or mesangial biopsy changes or glomerular sclerosis had significantly lower GFR than those without corresponding lesions. Patients with segmental sclerosis also had higher excretion rates of IgG, which increased with increasing segmental sclerosis. Six patients had GFRs below 2SD of the controls. Within the group of patients with reduced GFR overt albuminuria, a raised excretion rate of IgG, interstitial fibrosis, and advanced mesangial lesions were more frequent. A rising excretion rate of IgG seems to indicate both reduced GFR and increasing segmental glomerulosclerosis and may be a marker of progressive disease.
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