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Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis and IgA nephropathy: a comparative clinical study.

OBJECTIVES: Henoch-Schönlein purpura nephritis (HSPN) and IgA nephropathy (IgAN) are related syndromes. In the present study we aimed to compare the clinical characteristics and outcome of a large and unselected series of patients diagnosed as having HSPN and IgAN.

METHODS: Comparative study of a wide and unselected population of HSPN (142 patient) and IgAN (61 patients) from a teaching hospital of Northern Spain.

RESULTS: All of the following comparisons were expressed between HSPN vs. IgAN, respectively. HSPN patients were younger (30.6±26.4 vs. 37.1±16.5 years, p<0.001). Precipitating events, usually an upper respiratory tract infection and/or drug intake, were more frequently observed in HSPN (38% vs. 23%, p=0.03). Extra-renal manifestations were also more common in HSPN than in IgAN; skin lesions (100% vs. 1.8%; p<0.001), gastrointestinal (62% vs. 7.4%; p<0.001), and joint involvement (61.3% vs. 3.6%; p<0.001). However, nephritis was less severe in HSPN, renal insufficiency (25% in HSPN vs. 63.4% in IgAN; p<0.001), nephrotic syndrome (12.5%, vs. 43.7%; p<0.001), and nephritic syndrome (6.8% vs. 10.7%; NS). Leukocytosis was more frequent in HSPN (22.5% vs. 8.2%; p=0.015) and anaemia in IgAN (12.7% in HSPN vs. 36% in IgAN, p<0.001). The frequency of corticosteroid (79.6% vs. 69%; NS) and cytotoxic drug (19% vs. 16.5%, NS) use was similar. The frequency of relapses was similar (38.6% in HSPN vs. 36.3% in IgAN). After a median follow-up of 120.8 (IQR; 110-132) months in HSPN and 138.6 (IQR; 117-156) in IgAN, requirement for dialysis (2.9% vs. 43.5%; p<0.001), renal transplant (0% vs. 36%, p<0.001) and residual chronic renal insufficiency (4.9% vs. 63.8%; p<0.001) was more frequently observed in patients with in IgAN.

CONCLUSIONS: HSPN and IgAN represent different syndromes. IgAN has more severe renal involvement while HSPN is associated with more extra-renal manifestations.

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