BACKGROUND: Renal pathology in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is characterized by the growth of angiomyolipoma and renal cysts, and in rare cases renal cell carcinoma. Other consequences of renal involvement in TSC, including hypertension, proteinuria, and hyperfiltration, are not well studied. We aimed to analyze the early manifestations of the renal TSC phenotype in a young TSC cohort and to explore common, modifiable risk factors.
METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, TSC patients attending the TSC clinics of two tertiary hospitals were included. Data on demographics, history, genotype, kidney function, hematuria, proteinuria, blood pressure, and renal imaging were collected.
RESULTS: Eighty patients were included, with a median age of 0.8 years (0.0-63.0) at first presentation, and a median follow-up time of 10.2 (0.4-41.0) years. Mutation analysis was available in 64 patients (80%). Renal lesions (cysts or angiomyolipoma) were observed in 55/73 (75%). Thirty-two percent (19/60) were hypertensive, 8/51 (16%) had proteinuria, and 18/71 (25%) had hyperfiltration (median eGFR 154 ml/min/m2). Six (7.5%) patients had developed end stage renal disease at the last follow-up. No association was found between hyperfiltration, hypertension, or proteinuria and CKD ≥ 3. Cox regression showed a significant positive association between the presence of a renal intervention and CKD ≥ 3 (Hazard-Ratio 3.91, P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Besides renal cysts and angiomyolipoma, the modifiable progression factors hypertension, proteinuria, and hyperfiltration occur frequently and early in TSC patients. This represents a preventive treatment target.