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Temporal Changes in Post-Infectious Glomerulonephritis in Japan (1976-2009).

BACKGROUND: The incidence of post-infectious glomerulonephritis (PIGN) in developed countries has decreased over the last 50 years. Here we identified the trends of the incidence of PIGN in Japan during the past four decades.

METHODS: We explored the frequency, clinicopathological findings, and prognosis of PIGN based on 6,369 cases from the Renal Biopsy Database of our institute in the Kanto region of Japan, diagnosed histologically from 1976 to 2009.

RESULTS: The numbers of PIGN cases were 131 (2.1%) in total, and 2.4%, 1.1%, 2.6% and 2.1% identified in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, respectively. Acute glomerulonephritis (AGN), including post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN), accounted for almost all of the PIGN cases in the 1970s, but decreased to approx. 40%-50% since the 1990s. In the 1990s, Staphylococcus aureus infection-related nephritis (SARN) showed a rapid increase in rate, reaching 30%. The incidence of hepatitis C virus infection-associated GN (HCVGN) has increased since the 1990s. The average age at onset rose from 33 to 51 years over the study period. These transitions can be summarized as increases in SARN and HCVGN and decreases in PSGN and other types of AGN, since SARN and HCVGN have older onsets compared to PSGN and other AGN types. The clinicopathological features were marked for each PIGN. Regarding the prognosis, the renal death rates of both the SARN and HCVGN groups were significantly higher than those of other PIGN.

CONCLUSION: Based on our analysis of the Renal Biopsy Database, the incidence of PIGN in Japan reached its peak in the 1990s. The temporal changes in the incidence of PIGN reflected the trends in infectious diseases of each decade and the continual aging of the population, with a related higher susceptibility to infections.

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