Characteristics of lupus and lupus nephritis at a tertiary care center in Lebanon

S. H. Koubar, J. Kort, S. Kawtharani, M. Chaaya, M. Makki, I. Uthman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Systemic lupus erythematosus affects 4.8–78.5 people per 100,000 worldwide, 90% of whom are females. Geography and ethnicity have been shown to significantly affect the prevalence and natural history of the disease. Lupus nephritis affects around half of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus. Data about systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis in the Middle East are still scarce. In this study, we aimed to describe the characteristics of systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis at a tertiary care center in Lebanon. Methods: This is a retrospective chart review of all biopsy-proven lupus nephritis patients admitted to the American University of Beirut medical center between January 2000 and December 2018. Patients above 12 years of age who had any International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) class of lupus nephritis on their renal biopsy were included in the study. Results: The study included 55 patients with lupus nephritis. Upon presentation of systemic lupus erythematosus, the most common clinical feature was arthritis, seen in 83% of patients, followed by anemia (82%) and malar rash (48%). In total 93% had positive ANA, 89% had positive anti-dsDNA and 98% of patients had proteinuria. The most common ISN/RPS class of lupus nephritis in our series was IV (49%). At the time of the biopsy 15% of patients underwent dialysis. At 6 months, 11/27 had complete remission, 6/27 had partial remission and 10/27 had no remission. At 1 year, 8/23 had complete remission, 4/23 had partial remission and 11/23 had no remission. During the study period, 15 out of 35 patients available for analysis had chronic kidney disease (CKD) and six out of 34 patients developed end-stage kidney disease requiring renal replacement therapy. In comparison to other series in the region, our series had more males affected, higher creatinine at the time of biopsy and greater degree of proteinuria. Conclusion: Our study provided insight on the demographics, characteristics, and outcomes of lupus nephritis in Lebanon. Interestingly, male gender was present in a quarter of patients. This warrants further investigation and confirmation. We are hoping to expand this experience into a national prospective registry to further characterize this entity in our region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1598-1603
Number of pages6
Issue number13
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2019.


  • glomerulonephritis
  • Lebanon
  • Lupus nephritis
  • renal biopsy
  • SLE


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