Background: The Japanese classification of diabetic nephropathy reflects the risks of mortality, cardiovascular events and kidney prognosis and is clinically useful. Furthermore, pathological findings of diabetic nephropathy are useful for predicting prognoses. In this study, we evaluated the characteristics of pathological findings in relation to the Japanese classification of diabetic nephropathy and their ability to predict prognosis. Methods: The clinical data of 600 biopsy-confirmed diabetic nephropathy patients were collected retrospectively from 13 centers across Japan. Composite kidney events, kidney death, cardiovascular events, all-cause mortality, and decreasing rate of estimated GFR (eGFR) were evaluated based on the Japanese classification of diabetic nephropathy. Results: The median observation period was 70.4 (IQR 20.9–101.0) months. Each stage had specific characteristic pathological findings. Diffuse lesions, interstitial fibrosis and/or tubular atrophy (IFTA), interstitial cell infiltration, arteriolar hyalinosis, and intimal thickening were detected in more than half the cases, even in Stage 1. An analysis of the impacts on outcomes in all data showed that hazard ratios of diffuse lesions, widening of the subendothelial space, exudative lesions, mesangiolysis, IFTA, and interstitial cell infiltration were 2.7, 2.8, 2.7, 2.6, 3.5, and 3.7, respectively. Median declining speed of eGFR in all cases was 5.61 mL/min/1.73 m2/year, and the median rate of declining kidney function within 2 years after kidney biopsy was 24.0%. Conclusions: This study indicated that pathological findings could categorize the high-risk group as well as the Japanese classification of diabetic nephropathy. Further study using biopsy specimens is required to clarify the pathogenesis of diabetic kidney disease.
- Exudative lesions
- Japanese classification of diabetic nephropathy
- Kidney biopsy
- Nodular lesions
- Widening of the subendothelial space
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)