Lupus Nephritis

Published: 2021-09-14 13:20:10
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Category: Science

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Lupus nephritis is an autoimmune disease that is caused by systematic lupus erythematous (SLE) and causes inflammation of the kidneys.1 Normally, the immune system is supposed to protect the human body from harmful and infectious elements. However, an autoimmune disease affects the immune system in a manner in which it cannot tell the difference between a healthy and harmful substance, which can lead to attacks on healthy cells and tissue indiscriminately.2 It is a disease that predominately afflicts women between the ages of 15 and 40 and affects 1 in 2,000 women within the United States.3 It was reported that African Americans are more susceptible to lupus nephritis, the disease is developed at a younger age, and are predisposed to end-stage kidney disease.4 Currently, there is no cure for the disease but treatment options are available for those that are affected.
Lupus nephritis is one of the most serious complications of SLE as it significantly affects the kidney and usually arises within 5 years of diagnosis.5 It occurs when "lupus autoantibodies affect the filtering structures (glomeruli) of your kidneys that results in kidney inflammation and may lead to blood in the urine, (hematuria), protein in the urine (proteinuria), impaired kidney function or even kidney failure."6
Lupus nephritis is categorized into six World Health Organization classes: I, normal; II, mesangial; III, focal proliferative; IV, diffuse proliferative; V, membranous; and VI, advanced sclerosing.3 Each class of lupus nephritis is examined in further detail below.
Class I. This class is defined as "minimal mesangial lupus nephritis with mesangial accumulation of immune complexes identified by immunofluorescence, or by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, without concomitant light microscopic alterations."7
Class II. Class II is defined as mesangial lupus nephritis is characterized by "any degree of mesangial hypercellularity in association with mesangial immune deposits."7

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