Systemic lupus erythematosus in patients with chronic renal failure
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic
The clinical courses of 36 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in whom chronic renal failure developed and who required dialysis for more than three months were studied. At the time dialysis was initiated, 14 of 36 patients (38.9 percent) had clinically active SLE, but only three of 24 (12.5 percent) had activity in subsequent years while receiving dialysis therapy. In the majority of patients, however, renal disease progressed to end-stage despite clinical quiescence of SLE. During the follow-up period (mean +/- SD, 36 +/- 39.8 months), eight patients died--six from infections and two from cardiac disease. Actuarial survival rates at one, two, and five years after dialysis treatment were 91.1, 78.8, and 68.9 percent, respectively. This study suggests that the progression of renal disease to end-stage in patients with SLE may be mediated by nonimmunologic mechanisms as well as SLE-related immunologic insults. In most of these patients undergoing long-term dialysis, SLE remains clinically inactive despite persistent serologic abnormalities. Survival of the patients undergoing dialysis is comparable with that of the general dialysis population.