Clinical presentation and monitoring of lupus nephritis

Lupus. 2005;14(1):25-30. doi: 10.1191/0961203305lu2055oa.


The diversity of clinical presentations of lupus nephritis parallel the diversity of pathologic lesions seen in the kidneys of patients with SLE. Renal manifestations range from asymptomatic hematuria or proteinuria to overt nephritic and nephrotic syndromes, rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, and chronic renal failure. Subclinical nephropathy both during presentation and during monitoring of disease activity is frequently missed because of the notorious unreliability of routine screening urinalyses performed in high-throughput clinical pathology laboratories. Requisitions for urine microscopy should be flagged for special attention in patients at risk for lupus nephritis. Depression of classic complement pathway components and high titers of anti-DNA, anti-nucleosome, or anti-Clq antibodies identify patients are increased risk of renal involvement or flares of nephritis. Several disease activity and damage indexes are available, but they are mostly used in clinical research setting and none has achieved wide use for standard clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Kidney Function Tests
  • Lupus Nephritis / complications
  • Lupus Nephritis / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Nephritis / immunology*
  • Proteinuria / immunology*
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Urinalysis