Long-term renal survival and undetected risk factors of IgA nephropathy in Chinese children—a retrospective 1243 cases analysis from single centre experience



The long-term renal outcome for IgA nephropathy (IgAN) in large cohorts of children remains unclear. IgAN is a progressive disease, to explore novel biomarkers is necessary for predicting the disease activity and progression of IgAN. In addition, there is a hot debate on when to treat with immunosuppression in children. We aimed to confirm the long-term renal survival, find some undetected risk factors and investigate when to treat with immunosuppression can benefit for renal outcome in Chinese children.


1243 Children with IgAN were enrolled and a follow-up of at least 1 year after a biopsy from 2000 to 2017. Long-term renal survival, undetected risk factors and the renal survival of immunosuppressive and non-immunosuppressive therapy were evaluated. The primary endpoint of the study was a combined outcome of either ≥50% reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or death.


The median follow-up time were 86.8 months (interquartile range 54.7–140.2 months). The 5-, 10- and 15-year renal survival rates were 95.3%, 90.3% and 84%, respectively. Cox multivariate regression and Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that hypertension, hyperuricemia, high 24 h urine protein (24 h-UP) levels, lower initial eGFR, high urine C3 levels, high retinol-binding protein (RBP) levels, segmental glomerulosclerosis (S) and tubular atrophy and interstitial fibrosis (T) were associated with renal outcome. The statistically significant predictive perfect power for renal outcome was RBP ≥ 0.7µg/ml (AUC = 0.899, sensitivity = 84.00%, specificity = 86.00%), 24 h-UP ≥ 1 g/24 h (AUC = 0.722, sensitivity = 84.20%, specificity = 52.70%), eGFR < 60 ml/min/1.73 m2 (AUC = 0.718, sensitivity = 81.30%, specificity = 39.20%) and S1 lesion (AUC = 0.703, sensitivity = 75.50%, specificity = 65.10%).Children with urinary RBP ≥ 0.7µg/ml were associated with a 2.513-fold risk than patients with urinary RBP < 0.7µg/ml (P = 0.003). Our study suggested that immunosuppressive therapy may reduce the risk of progression in IgAN children had both eGFR > 50 ml/min/1.73 m2 and proteinuria of at least 1 g/day.


This is the first report that the 15-year renal survival rate of children with IgAN in China was 84%. At the same time, this is the first study to reveal that urinary RBP ≥ 0.7µg/ml may indicate a poor renal outcome. In addition, this study supports immunosuppressive therapy for IgAN children had both proteinuria ≥1 g/day and initial eGFR > 50 ml/min/1.73m2.

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The authors acknowledge support from the Clinical Advanced Techniques, Primary Research and Development Plan of Jiangsu Province (BE2017719) and the Paediatric Medical Innovation Team of Jiangsu Province (CXTDA2017022).

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Correspondence to Zhengkun Xia or Chunlin Gao.

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Wu, H., Fang, X., Xia, Z. et al. Long-term renal survival and undetected risk factors of IgA nephropathy in Chinese children—a retrospective 1243 cases analysis from single centre experience. J Nephrol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40620-020-00767-4

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  • IgA nephropathy
  • Chinese children
  • Renal survival
  • Long-term observation
  • Undetected risk factors