Corticosteroids in Lupus Nephritis and Central Nervous System Lupus

Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2016 Feb;42(1):63-73, viii. doi: 10.1016/j.rdc.2015.08.008. Epub 2015 Oct 24.


Corticosteroids are a mainstay of therapy for severe organ-threatening systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus nephritis and central nervous system (CNS) lupus remain two of the most debilitating and potentially life-threatening manifestations of lupus. The dose and duration of corticosteroids required for control of lupus nephritis and CNS lupus have never been tested in a randomized trial design, so current recommendations are based on observation and expert opinion. As more targeted individualized therapeutic approaches are developed for lupus nephritis and CNS lupus, reliance on long-term corticosteroids will decrease, as will the long-term damage and early mortality associated with their use.

Keywords: Autoimmune disease; Glomerulonephritis; Glucocorticoids; Neuropsychiatric lupus; Systemic lupus erythematosus; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage*
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Lupus Nephritis / drug therapy*
  • Lupus Vasculitis, Central Nervous System / drug therapy*
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents