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Main > Kidney Disease > Lupus Nephritis > Lupus Nephritis Basics >
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Diagnosis and Treatments for Lupus Nephritis Patients

2012-10-21 18:00

The cause of SLE is still unclear until now. The possible causes can be gene, steroid, immunity or environment. The disease is a systemic chronic autoimmune disease and often gets several organs involved. Kidney is the most commonly involving organs and is called Lupus Nephritis (LN). According to the pathological examination, 90% of lupus patients suffer from kidney problems, but only 75% of them show clinical symptoms. Kidney Failure becomes the common cause accounting for the death of SLE patients. That’s why kidney problems induced by lupus should be attached more importance.


Lupus Nephritis is a typical autoimmune complex disease.


Class I is minimal mesangial glomerulonephritis

Class II is based on a finding of mesangial proliferative lupus nephritis.

Class III is focal proliferative nephritis

Class IV is diffuse proliferative nephritis

Class V is membranous nephritis


Kidney problems of Lupus Nephritis patients can be multiple. Proteinuria and massive red blood cells initially develop. Shortly after that, massive albuminuria and hematuria as well as cylindruria attacks. On the basis of SLE diagnosis, persistent albuminuria exceeding 0.5g/d or cellular cast urine (red blood cells, hemoglobin or mixed urinary cylinder), then Lupus Nephritis can be diagnosed.

There’s no agreed treatment plan till now. The treatments are mainly focusing on stopping the activity of lupus, blocking kidney problems from happening, and avoiding strong side effects.

If the patients have protein in urine, increased red blood cells, azotemia, nephrotic syndrome or rapid progressive nephritis, treatments given will be mainly focusing on dealing with symptoms.

To those with proteinuria or hematuria but without high blood pressure, prednisone will be used to prevent one’s kidney function from declining. For those with nephrotic syndrome type, prednisolone is usually adopted. Prednisone combing cyclophosphamide pulse therapy is adopted in patients with serious condition. In recent years, immunosuppressant like rituximab could significantly improve the patients’ survival rate. Nevertheless, several side effects may appear when taking steroids or some other drugs for a long time, for instance, infections, bone disease, central obesity, evaluated blood sugar and high blood pressure.

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