Book Appt. Call Now
  • Find a doctor
  • Send a query
  • Book an Appointment
  • Second Opinion

Send a Query

Book an Appointment

Ask for a Second Opinion

Home >> Specialities >> Nephrology >> Lupus Nephritis

Lupus Nephritis

Lupus nephritis, a serious complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus, is a condition that affects the kidneys. It is a type of kidney inflammation that occurs as a result of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks various organs and tissues, including the kidneys. When the kidneys are affected, it is referred to as lupus nephritis.

Causes and Risk Factors
The exact cause of lupus nephritis is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to a combination of genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors. Women of childbearing age are at the highest risk, and lupus nephritis is more common in individuals of African, Asian, or Hispanic descent.

Symptoms of Lupus Nephritis
Lupus nephritis can manifest with a wide range of symptoms, which may vary in severity. Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Swelling (Edema): Swelling of the legs, feet, ankles, and sometimes the face and hands is a common early sign.
  • High Blood Pressure: Lupus nephritis can lead to high blood pressure, which may worsen kidney damage.
  • Foamy Urine: The presence of foamy or bubbly urine may indicate excess protein in the urine, a condition called proteinuria.
  • Blood in Urine: Haematuria, or blood in the urine, can be a sign of kidney damage.
  • Frequent Urination: Changes in urinary habits, including increased frequency, may occur.
  • Fatigue: General fatigue and weakness can result from anaemia or the overall impact of kidney dysfunction on the body.
  • Joint Pain: Lupus nephritis often occurs in conjunction with systemic lupus erythematosus, leading to joint pain and stiffness.
  • Skin Rash: Skin rashes and lesions are common in SLE, and some individuals with lupus nephritis may develop skin symptoms.

Diagnosing lupus nephritis requires a combination of clinical assessments, laboratory tests, and imaging studies. Common diagnostic approaches include:

  • Blood and Urine Tests: Blood tests can detect markers of kidney function and inflammation, while urine tests identify proteinuria and haematuria.
  • Kidney Biopsy: A kidney biopsy is often necessary to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of kidney damage. It involves taking a small tissue sample from the kidney for examination.
  • Imaging: Imaging studies such as ultrasound or CT scans may be used to evaluate kidney size and structure.

Treatment of Lupus Nephritis
The treatment of lupus nephritis depends on its severity and the extent of kidney damage. Treatment goals generally include:

  • Slowing Disease Progression: Immunosuppressive medications like corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and biologics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and slow the immune system's attack on the kidneys.
  • Managing Symptoms: Medications to control blood pressure, reduce proteinuria, and alleviate symptoms like edema and joint pain may be necessary.
  • Preventing Complications: Medications to prevent complications such as blood clots and infections may be prescribed.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: A kidney-healthy diet, including reduced sodium intake, and regular exercise may be recommended. Smoking cessation and alcohol moderation are also important.
  • Regular Monitoring: Ongoing monitoring of kidney function and lupus activity is essential to assess treatment effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.
  • Kidney Transplant: In severe cases of kidney failure due to lupus nephritis, a kidney transplant may be considered as a treatment option.

Management and Outlook
Lupus nephritis requires careful long-term management. Individuals with this condition should work closely with their healthcare team, including rheumatologists and nephrologists, to develop a personalized treatment plan. Regular follow-up appointments, medication adherence, and lifestyle modifications are key to managing lupus nephritis effectively.
The outlook for individuals with lupus nephritis varies depending on factors such as the severity of kidney damage, the response to treatment, and overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications.

Our Doctors

SHALBY Sanar International Hospitals provides extensive medical procedures backed up with our state-of-the-art technology and a team of highly qualified & experienced clinical experts.

Patient Testimonials



Our doctors pen down their research findings and experiences from time to time. Their words provide deep insight into the latest techniques, technologies and other advancements in healthcare. It provides expert answers to all kinds of health questions for real-life issues.


Latest News & Events

Since the day of its foundation, SHALBY Sanar International Hospitals is committed to provide comprehensive healthcare services. It regularly organizes awareness programs in its premises and encourages outdoor healthcare activities and camps with an intent to put focus on preventive healthcare.