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01.12.2018 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Translational Medicine 1/2018

A validation study of crescents in predicting ESRD in patients with IgA nephropathy

Journal of Translational Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2018
Xiaoyan Zhang, Sufang Shi, Yan Ouyang, Meng Yang, Manman Shi, Xiaoxia Pan, Jicheng Lv, Zhaohui Wang, Hong Ren, Pingyan Shen, Weiming Wang, Hong Zhang, Jingyuan Xie, Nan Chen
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s12967-018-1488-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Xiaoyan Zhang and Sufang Shi contributed equally to this work



A working group on the Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) recently reported that crescents detected in kidney tissue predicted a worse renal outcome. However, this finding must be validated in independent cohorts before it can be widely applied to clinical practice.


Biopsy-proven IgAN patients were continuously recruited from two large renal centers in China from 1989 to 2014. All patients were followed for more than 1 year unless end stage renal disease (ESRD) occurred within 12 months. Crescents were defined as focal cellular or fibrocellular crescent formations. IgAN patients without detectable crescents were recruited to the C0 group. Patients with crescents in less than or more than 1/4 of all glomeruli were recruited to the C1 or C2 group, respectively. Primary outcome was defined as the time to ESRD, and the secondary outcome was defined as the time to an estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline equal to or greater than 50% or to ESRD.


In total, 1152 IgAN patients were recruited in this study. Among all patients, 53.7% were in the C0 group, 38.8% were in the C1 group, and 7.5% were in the C2 group. Compared to patients in the C0 group, patients in the C1 or C2 group were younger, had more urinary protein excretion and lower eGFR, and presented with more severe mesangial hypercellularity, endocapillary proliferation or tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis. After 45 months of follow-up, ESRD had occurred in 80 (12.9%), 46 (10.3%) and 18 (20.9%) of patients in the C0, C1 and C2 groups, respectively. By multivariable Cox regression analysis, inclusion in the C1 (HR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.71–1.63), C2 (HR = 0.84, 95% CI 0.41–1.73), or C1 or C2 group (HR = 1.02, 95% CI 0.68–1.52) was not associated with a higher rate of ESRD than inclusion in the C0 group after adjusting for age, gender, eGFR, mean arterial pressure (MAP), MEST scores, and immunosuppressive treatment. However, in patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria, patients in either the C1 or C2 group had a higher rate of the primary outcome, ESRD (HR = 2.54, 95% CI 1.14–5.66) after adjusting for age, gender, eGFR, MAP, MEST scores, and immunosuppressive treatment. Similar results were found when we evaluated the association between crescents and the secondary outcome.


IgAN patients with crescents had more severe clinical and pathological manifestations than those without crescents. However, we failed to replicate the association between crescents and renal function progression in Chinese IgAN patients followed for more than 1 year.
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