Background: Renal involvement in systemic lupus erythematous is one of the most serious complications. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of treatment decisions based on clinical symptoms and renal biopsy on the outcome of patients with recurrent lupus nephritis. Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was conducted in 2012–13 in the Alzahra hospital on patients with lupus nephritis who had referred to the rheumatology clinic of this center due to lupus nephritis relapse. All lupus nephritis patients were diagnosed with renal biopsy and had gone into remission by treatment but due to the discontinuation of treatment and other causes had relapsed. The patients were divided randomly into two groups of 26, the first group was treated without renal biopsy and based on clinical and laboratory symptoms and the second group was re-biopsied through considering the ethical points. Then their relationship with laboratory findings (BUN, Cr, ANA, ds-DNA, C3, C4, CH50, U/A, cast, and proteinuria), treatment and recurrence outcome were compared between the two groups. Results: The mean of SLEDAI-2K index before initial treatment, after the first round of treatment and after the second round of treatment in single biopsy group and twice biopsy group is not significantly different (P = 0.27). Conclusions: Treatment decisions based on clinical and laboratory findings or re-biopsy of the kidney in patients who relapsed after initial treatment had no significant effect on the recovery of patients. Adoption of a treatment plan in patients with lupus nephritis is recommended based on clinical and laboratory finding and the discretion of the physician and if possible, kidney re-biopsy should be avoided.
Renal Disease Subcommittee of the American College of Rheumatology Ad Hoc Committee on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Response Criteria. The American College of Rheumatology response criteria for proliferative and membranous renal disease in systemic lupus erythematosus clinical trials. Arthritis Rheum 2006;54:421-32.