Biopsy-proven childhood glomerulonephritis in Johor

Joon Joon Khoo, S. Pee, B. Thevarajah, Y. C. Yap, C. K. Chin

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Background: There has been no published study of biopsy-proven childhood glomerulonephritis in Malaysia. Objectives: To determine the pattern of childhood glomerulonephritis in Johor, Malaysia from a histopathological perspective and the various indications used for renal biopsy in children. Materials and Methods: Retrospective study was done of all renal biopsies from children under 16 years of age, received in Sultanah Aminah Hospital, Johor between 1994 and 2001. The histopathological findings were reviewed to determine the pattern of biopsy-proven glomerulonephritis. The indications for biopsy, mode of therapy given after biopsy and the clinical outcome were studied. Results: 122 adequate biopsies were received, 9 children had repeat biopsies. Of the 113 biopsies, minimal change disease formed the most common histopathological diagnosis (40.7%) while lupus nephritis formed the most common secondary glomerulonephritis (230%). The main indications for biopsy were nephrotic syndrome (50.8%), lupus nephritis (25.4%) and renal impairment (13.1%). The mode of therapy was changed in 59.8% of the children. Of 106 patients followed-up, 84 children were found to have normal renal function in remission or on treatment. 4 patients developed chronic renal impairment and 16 reached end stage renal disease. Five of the 16 children with end stage disease had since died while 11 were on renal replacement therapy. Another 2 patients died of other complications. Conclusions: The pattern of childhood GN in our study tended to reflect the more severe renal parenchymal diseases in children and those requiring more aggressive treatment. This was because of our criteria of selection (indication) for renal biopsy. Renal biopsy where performed appropriately in selected children may not only be a useful investigative tool for histological diagnosis and prognosis but may help clinicians plan the optimal therapy for these children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Journal of Malaysia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Childhood
  • End stage renal failure
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Renal biopsy

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