BACKGROUND: Renal involvement is rare in primary Sjogren syndrome (PSS). In this study, we examined renal biopsy findings in patients with PSS and correlated them with their clinical and renal findings.
METHODS: Twenty-five patients with PSS who underwent renal biopsies from two renal units in Scotland between 1978 and 2013 were identified from renal biopsy database. We examined the renal morphologic, clinical and renal findings at the time of renal biopsy, renal and patient outcomes.
RESULTS: The diagnosis of PSS preceded renal biopsy in 18/25 patients. In this group, the median duration of the disease was 5.5 years. Significant proteinuria, combined microscopic haematuria and proteinuria and reduced renal excretory function were found in 76, 56 and 84% of patients, respectively. The 3-year actuarial patient survival was significantly lower in patients with glomerulonephritis as compared with tubulointerstitial nephritis (66 versus 100%, P = 0.02). There was no difference in 3-year actuarial renal survival between these two groups (92 versus 92%, P = 1.0).
CONCLUSIONS: Renal biopsy is rare in PSS and often reveals diverse pathological findings. Glomerulonephritis, as compared with tubulointerstitial nephritis, is associated with higher early mortality. Further studies are needed to evaluate the utility of renal biopsy and its impact on disease management.