[Consensus of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology for the diagnosis, management and treatment of lupus nephritis]

Rev Bras Reumatol. 2015 Jan-Feb;55(1):1-21. doi: 10.1016/j.rbr.2014.09.008. Epub 2014 Nov 1.
[Article in Portuguese]


Objective: To develop recommendations for the diagnosis, management and treatment of lupus nephritis in Brazil.

Method: Extensive literature review with a selection of papers based on the strength of scientific evidence and opinion of the Commission on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus members, Brazilian Society of Rheumatology.

Results and conclusions: 1) Renal biopsy should be performed whenever possible and if this procedure is indicated; and, when the procedure is not possible, the treatment should be guided with the inference of histologic class. 2) Ideally, measures and precautions should be implemented before starting treatment, with emphasis on attention to the risk of infection. 3) Risks and benefits of treatment should be shared with the patient and his/her family. 4) The use of hydroxychloroquine (preferably) or chloroquine diphosphate is recommended for all patients (unless contraindicated) during induction and maintenance phases. 5) The evaluation of the effectiveness of treatment should be made with objective criteria of response (complete remission/partial remission/refractoriness). 6) ACE inhibitors and/or ARBs are recommended as antiproteinuric agents for all patients (unless contraindicated). 7) The identification of clinical and/or laboratory signs suggestive of proliferative or membranous glomerulonephritis should indicate an immediate implementation of specific therapy, including steroids and an immunosuppressive agent, even though histological confirmation is not possible. 8) Immunosuppressives must be used during at least 36 months, but these medications can be kept for longer periods. Its discontinuation should only be done when the patient achieve and maintain a sustained and complete remission. 9) Lupus nephritis should be considered as refractory when a full or partial remission is not achieved after 12 months of an appropriate treatment, when a new renal biopsy should be considered to assist in identifying the cause of refractoriness and in the therapeutic decision.

Keywords: Brasil; Brazil; Consenso; Consensus; Lupus nephritis; Lúpus eritematoso sistêmico; Nefrite lúpica; Systemic lupus erythematous; Terapêutica; Therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Brazil
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Lupus Nephritis / diagnosis*
  • Lupus Nephritis / therapy*
  • Remission Induction