Lupus Nephritis (LN)



LN is a type of kidney disease caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Autoantibodies attack structures in the kidneys that filter out waste leading to impaired kidney function and potentially kidney failure.

Common Symptoms

Common symptoms include joint pain or swelling, muscle pain, fever, red rash on the face, blood in urine, foamy urine, high blood pressure, high levels of creatine (waste product) in the blood, weight gain, and fatigue.

Coexisting Diseases and Conditions

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), renal disease, acute renal failure, hypertension, atherosclerosis, dyslipidemia, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, osteoporosis, hyperkalemia, metabolic acidosis, and antiphospholipid syndrome.

Risk Factors and Prevalence

Males with SLE are more likely to develop LN compared to females with SLE. Severity is greater in children and adolescents. Severity can be greater in African Americans and in Hispanics than Caucasians. If you have family members with LN, you are at a higher risk of having LN.


  1. Article Sources
    1. Hsu, C.-Y., Chiu, W.-C., Yang, T.-S., Chen, C.-J., Chen, Y.-C., Lai, H.-M., Yu, S.-F., Su, Y.-J., & Cheng, T.-T. (2011). Age- and gender-related long-term renal outcome in patients with lupus nephritis. Lupus, 20(11), 1135–1141.

    2. Contreras, G., Lenz, O., Pardo, V., Borja, E., Cely, C., Iqbal, K., Nahar, N., de La Cuesta, C., Hurtado, A., Fornoni, A., Beltran-Garcia, L., Asif, A., Young, L., Diego, J., Zachariah, M., & Smith-Norwood, B. (2006). Outcomes in African Americans and Hispanics with lupus nephritis. Kidney international, 69(10), 1846–1851.

    3. Mayo Clinic Staff. (2019, August 15). Lupus nephritis. Mayo Clinic.  

    4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2017, January). Lupus and Kidney Disease (Lupus Nephritis). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  

    5. Tzavara, V., Pamfil, C., Boumpas, D. T., & Bertsias, G. K. (2013). An update on the management of comorbid conditions in lupus nephritis. Clinical Investigation, 3(3), 281–293.