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Idiopathic Retroperitoneal Fibrosis: A Retrospective Review of Clinical Presentation, Treatment, and Outcomes


      To describe the clinical manifestations, laboratory results, imaging findings, and treatments in patients with idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis (IRF) seen at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.


      In this retrospective study, we used International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes to identify all patients evaluated for IRF between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2006, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Medical records were reviewed, and clinical information was abstracted. Idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis was diagnosed on the basis of compatible imaging findings. Patients were followed up until their last visit at Mayo Clinic, death, or December 31, 2008, whichever came first.


      Of the 185 patients identified as having IRF, 113 (61%) were men and 72 (39%) were women. Mean ± SD age at diagnosis was 57.6±11.8 years. Biopsy specimens were obtained in 142 cases (77%). The most common presenting symptoms were back pain (38%) and abdominal pain (40%). Baseline erythrocyte sedimentation rate and/or C-reactive protein levels were elevated in 88 (58%) of the 151 patients tested. The median creatinine level at diagnosis was 1.3 mg/dL (interquartile range, 1.1-2.1 mg/dL). Fifteen patients (8%) were treated with ureteral procedures only, 58 patients (31%) with medications only, and 105 patients (57%) with a combination of medical and surgical therapies. Seven patients (4%) were not treated. Corticosteroids were initiated in 116 patients (63%), and tamoxifen was used in 120 patients (65%). Follow-up was available for 151 patients (82%). Creatinine levels were normal at last visit in 102 (68%) of the 151 patients with follow-up. No patient developed end-stage renal disease. Relapses occurred in 18 (12%) of the 151 patients. Eleven patients died.


      In this cohort, outcomes such as end-stage renal disease or death from renal failure were not observed. Relapses may occur, and patients with IRF warrant long-term follow-up.
      ANA (antinuclear antibody), ANCA (antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody), CT (computed tomography), CRP (C-reactive protein), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate), IQR (interquartile range), IRF (idiopathic retroperitoneal fibrosis)
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