Lupus nephritis is a kidney disorder, which is caused by a complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a long-term autoimmune disorder. SLE can causes organ damage, joint pain, and fatigue.
Up to 322,000 people have been diagnosed with SLE. One major complication is lupus nephritis, which can lead to renal failure and death.
The guidelines, which were published in Arthritis Care & Research, are more specific to this complication, and include new treatments, ways to detect the resulting renal disease, and also how to treat pregnant SLE patients with kidney problems.
Dr. Bevra Hahn is one of the lead guideline contributors and a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She stated of the disease that:
“Lupus nephritis can be life-threatening, and proper management of the disease is vital to prevent permanent organ damage and preserve quality of life for patients. Given the serious threat of kidney involvement in SLE and the availability of newer therapies, it was necessary to create specific guidelines for managing the care of patients with lupus nephritis.”
End-stage renal disease from lupus has risen over the past 20 years, despite new treatments becoming available. Lupus nephritis has risen especially among young patients, African Americans, and people living in the Southern United States.
Among the guidelines are: advising renal biopsy (especially in previously untreated patients who have active nephritis), how to maintain improvement in patients who are responsive to induction therapy, and how to identify vascular disease in SLE patients who have renal abnormalities. Dr. Hahn goes on to say that:
“We look forward to seeing a reduction in these trends with implementation of these guidelines as part of high-quality, comprehensive care for SLE patients.”
Check out stories from people living with lupus nephritis here: