In this single-center historical cohort study among patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy, we demonstrated that tonsillectomy was significantly associated with favorable renal outcomes such as clinical remission and delayed renal deterioration. Even in patients who did not receive initial steroid therapy, tonsillectomy was significantly associated with clinical remission and a smaller annual GFR loss during the follow-up. This reno-protective effect was independent of the known risk factors including blood pressure, proteinuria and histological findings.
Background. Indication of tonsillectomy in IgA nephropathy is controversial. The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of tonsillectomy on remission and progression of IgA nephropathy.
Methods. We conducted a single-center 7-year historical cohort study in 200 patients with biopsy-proven IgA nephropathy. Study outcomes were clinical remission defined as disappearance of urine abnormalities at two consecutive visits, glomerular filtration rate (GFR) decline defined as 30% GFR decrease from baseline and GFR slope during the follow-up.
Results. Seventy of the 200 patients received tonsillectomy. Tonsillectomy was associated with increased incidence of clinical remission (P < 0.01, log-rank test) and decreased incidence of GFR decline (P = 0.01, log-rank test). After adjustment for age and gender, hazard ratios in tonsillectomy were 3.90 (95% confidence interval 2.46–6.18) for clinical remission and 0.14 (0.02–1.03) for GFR decline. After further adjustment for laboratory (baseline mean arterial pressure, GFR, 24-h proteinuria and hematuria score), histological (mesangial score, segmental sclerosis or adhesion, endocapillary proliferation and interstitial fibrosis) or treatment variables (steroid and renin–angiotensin system inhibitors), similar results were obtained in each model. Even after exclusion of 69 steroid-treated patients, results did not change. GFR slopes in tonsillectomy and non-tonsillectomy groups were 0.60 ± 3.65 and −1.64 ± 2.59 mL/min/1.73 m2/year, respectively. In the multiple regression model, tonsillectomy prevented GFR decline during the follow-up period (regression coefficient 2.00, P = 0.01).
Conclusion. Tonsillectomy was associated with a favorable renal outcome of IgA nephropathy in terms of clinical remission and delayed renal deterioration even in non-steroid-treated patients.