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ANCA-negative pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (PIGN) represents a rare and often under-studied subgroup of the vasculitides. This study aims to investigate differences in the clinical phenotype, renal histological features, and clinical outcomes of patients with PIGN, with and without serum ANCA positivity. A cohort of biopsy-proven PIGN with and without detectable circulating ANCA was constructed from a single center between 2006 and 2016. Primary outcomes compared clinical presentation and histopathological features according to ANCA status, with multivariate Cox regression to compare mortality and ESKD. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the published literature was undertaken. In our cohort of 146 patients, 22% (n=32) had ANCA-negative disease, with a comparatively younger mean age at diagnosis; 51.4 versus 65.6 years (P<0.001). In total, 14 studies, inclusive of our cohort, were eligible for meta-analysis, totaling 301 patients who were ANCA negative. Those with ANCA-negative disease tended to have fewer extrarenal symptoms and a higher frequency of renal-limited disease, but both failed to reach statistical significance (P=0.92 and P=0.07). The risk of ESKD was significantly higher in seronegative disease (RR, 2.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.42 to 3.65; P<0.001), reflecting our experience, with a fivefold increased risk of ESKD in ANCA-negative disease (P<0.001). No significant difference in the chronicity of histopathological findings was seen and the meta-analysis showed no difference in morality (RR, 1.22; 95% confidence interval, 0.63 to 2.38; P=0.55). Our findings demonstrate that ANCA-negative PIGN presents in younger patients, with fewer extrarenal manifestations and higher ESKD risk, despite a lack of difference in histopathology. This study provides the impetus for further research into the pathogenesis, treatment response, and duration of immunotherapy in ANCA-negative disease. We suggest that the absence of positive ANCA serology should not discourage treatment and for clinical trials to include patients who are ANCA negative. Copyright © 2022 by the American Society of Nephrology.


Lauren Floyd, Adam D Morris, Mohamed E Elsayed, Anamay Shetty, Ananya Baksi, Duvuru Geetha, Ajay Dhaygude, Sandip Mitra. A Meta-Analysis and Cohort Study of Histopathologic and Clinical Outcomes in ANCA-Negative versus -Positive Vasculitis. Kidney360. 2023 Jan 01;4(1):69-77

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PMID: 36700906

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