The diagnostic value of serum M-type phospholipase A2 receptor antibody (sPLA2R-ab) expression in patients with primary membranous nephropathy (PMN) has been established. However, the association between sPLA2R-ab and clinical remission remains uncertain.
We systematically searched the literature for clinical trials regarding the correlation between sPLA2R-ab expression and clinical remission of PMN patients. Meta-analysis was performed to determine this association. Subgroup analysis, funnel plots, and sensitivity analysis were also performed to investigate heterogeneity or bias.
A total of 11 trials involving 824 patients were included. Patients with positive sPLA2R-ab had a poor clinical remission rate (RR = 0.76, 95%CI 0.68–0.86, P < 0.0001; I2 = 39%), a higher titer of sPLA2R-ab had a lower chance of clinical remission (RR = 0.72, 95%CI 0.59–0.87, P = 0.0006; I2 = 42%),and a higher risk of renal failure (RR = 4.85, 95% CI, 1.83–12.85, P = 0.002; I2 = 0%), without affecting relapse (RR = 0.97, 95% CI, 0.55–1.70; P = 0.92, I2 = 0%). Subgroup analysis by treatment strategies, assay methods, ethnicity, gender, renal function, the approach of ruling out SMN, and the ratio of patients with nephrotic-range proteinuria at baseline showed no significant association between these factors with the prognostic value of sPLA2R-ab for PMN patients. No significant publication bias was found.
This meta-analysis adds to the evidence for current guidelines that sPLA2R-ab acts as not only a diagnostic marker but also a pivotal predictor for clinical remission. Therefore, sPLA2R-ab can be considered as a prognostic factor for stratifying PMN patients.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.