The time course of DNA binding capacity (DNA-bc) was found to correlate with the clinical course in a group of 21 patients who had biopsy-proven lupus glomerulonephritis and were treated with immunosuppressive agents. Eight patients showed a sequential DNA-bc pattern in which a high titre of anti-DNA antibody was present for a prolonged period of time all having an unfavourable clinical course. Persistently high values of DNA-bc preceded by as much as 10 months evidence of renal deterioration obtained by conventional renal function tests. Thirteen patients showed a low titre of anti-DNA antibody throughout most of their course, 12 having a favourable outcome. An initially high value of DNA-bc had no prognostic significance. These results suggest that the persistence of a high titre of anti-DNA antibody in patients with lupus glomerulonephritis is a poor prognostic sign.
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