Background Hydronephrosis is a rare complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Bladder and/or gastrointestinal involvement in SLE are associated with development of hydronephrosis, but the management and treatment outcomes of hydronephrosis are largely unknown.
Objectives We investigated the clinical manifestations and factors associated with the treatment response in patients with SLE complicated by hydronephrosis.
Methods A retrospective analysis was performed of all 634 SLE patients who underwent computed tomography and/or ultrasonography between January 1998 and December 2013. We reviewed the clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes of patients with SLE-associated hydronephrosis.
Results Hydronephrosis was identified in 15 patients with SLE complicated by cystitis and/or enteritis. All patients were treated initially with moderate to high dose corticosteroids. A follow-up imaging study showed that 11 (73.3%) of 15 patients experienced improvements in hydronephrosis, and urinary obstruction was resolved without urological intervention in the majority of these patients (8/11, 72.7%). The four patients who experienced no improvement in hydronephrosis were older than those who responded to treatment (median age (IQR); 43.0 (37.5-53.0) years vs. 28.0 (21.0-38.5) years; p=0.026). In addition, delayed treatment (≥1 month after onset of symptoms) with corticosteroids was more frequently observed in the non-responding patients than in the responding patients (p=0.011).
Conclusions Our findings suggest that treatment with corticosteroids alone leads to favorable outcomes in patients with SLE-associated hydronephrosis, except when treatment is delayed, particularly in elderly patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared