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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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REVIEW ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2000  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 567-576
Glomerulonephritis in Saudi Arabia: A Review

Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Ahmed Hassan Mitwalli
Department of Medicine, King Khalid University Hospital, P. O. Box 2925, Riyadh 11461
Saudi Arabia
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PMID: 18209347

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Glomerulonephritis (GN) is one of the leading causes of end-stage renal disease. A good understanding of its pattern and prevalence as well as exploration of effective therapeutic strategies for protecting the glomerulus, would have tremendous impact on public health. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), focal and segmental glomerulo sclerosis (FSGS) is the commonest type of primary glomerular diseases (PGD) encountered in clinical practice. Its prevalence varies from less than 4% in Gizan, in the southern part of KSA, to approximately 35% in Riyadh, central Saudi Arabia. In our experience, the nephrotic syndrome was the commonest mode of presentation of FSGS. Response to corticosteroid therapy is generally poor and the mortality rate is high. Mesangioproliferative GN is the second most common GN constituting up to 25% of PGD in our experience. Other researchers from different parts of the Kingdom, however, have given prevalence rates ranging from 8 to 57.1%. The reported prevalence of Immunoglobulin-A nephropathy (IgAN) in KSA ranges from 5.8% to 13.6%. It is more common in the elderly, and men are affected more often than women. In contrast to KSA, IgAN is the commonest PGD in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. Membranous GN (MGN) is less common in KSA than encountered elsewhere, the prevalence ranging from 3.9 to 21.8%. Nephropathy secondary to systemic diseases are also common in KSA. Lupus nephritis (LN) accounted for 48.5% of secondary glomerular diseases (SGD) with the combination of WHO classes III and IV (aggressive types of LN) accounting for 56% of all patients. LN is another disease where differences in racial susceptibility may account for the uneven distribution. Post-streptococcal GN seems to be declining in frequency in KSA, the reported prevalence ranging from 2.7% to 2.9%.

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