In a systematic literature review, we searched PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from inception to November 2011 to identify published articles on the risk of ESRD in lupus nephritis. We also searched references of retrieved articles and reviews. We excluded articles with fewer than 10 patients, less than 1 year of follow-up, those primarily of children, and those that did not report ESRD (dialysis or renal transplantation) as a specific outcome. Of 1,144 unique articles from the searches, we did a full-text review of 373 articles. One hundred and fifty-five articles met inclusion criteria, reported relevant data and were not duplicate reports on the same cohort. Thirty-one studies began enrollment in 1990 or later. Here we examined the 14 studies (15 arms) that reported outcomes of patients with proliferative lupus nephritis. We computed weighted averages of the proportion with ESRD at the mean follow-up. For studies with more than one treatment arm, we pooled estimates across arms.