Dr. MJ Bazos MD, Patient Handout
Lupus Nephritis

Lupus nephritis is an inflammation of the kidney caused by systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a disease of the immune system. SLE causes harm to the skin, joints, kidneys, and brain.

What causes SLE is unknown. Many factors may play a role, including:

•heredity (a gene passed down by a parent)
•air pollution.

Some people with SLE may have no symptoms of kidney disease. However, lupus nephritis may cause weight gain, high blood pressure, dark urine, or swelling around the eyes, legs, ankles, or fingers.

Diagnosis may require urine and blood tests and x-rays of the kidneys. Treatment depends on the symptoms. Medicines can decrease swelling, lower blood pressure, and decrease inflammation by suppressing the immune system. The patient may need to limit protein, sodium, and potassium intake.