Methodological quality of studies of end-stage renal disease risks in lupus nephritis
© Tektonidou et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014
Published: 18 September 2014
Variations in methodological quality can affect the results of individual studies and of systematic reviews. We examined the adequacy of patient descriptions, representativeness, and follow-up information in studies included in a systematic review of risks of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in patients with lupus nephritis.
We search Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane Database from their inceptions to 31 December 2013 for studies that reported on ESRD in adults with lupus nephritis. We included all observational studies and long-term clinical trials with a minimum of 12 months of follow-up and 10 patients that reported specific data on the development of ESRD. Two authors independently assessed study quality using a modification of the Newcastle Ottawa scale, and rated studies on 10 items in three areas: adequacy of description of the cohort (items 1 to 3); representativeness (items 4 to 7); and adequacy of follow-up information (items 8 to 10).
Observational studies (n= 132)
Clinical trials (n= 42)
1. ACR criteria for SLE used
2. Measure of renal function included
3. Treatments described
4. Community-based study
5. Inception cohort
6. Renal biopsy not required for inclusion
7. Patients with chronic kidney disease not excluded
8. Losses to follow-up described
9. Losses to follow-up < 20%
10. Data reported using Kaplan-Meier curves
While both observational studies and clinical trials generally provided good clinical descriptions of the cohorts, few provided adequate data on follow-up. The representativeness of observational studies was low. The improvement in trial quality over time may be due to the development of standardized protocols and the institution of reporting standards, which might also serve to enhance the reporting of observational studies.
Supported by the Intramural Research Program, NIAMS/NIH.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.