What Is Lupus Nephritis?

Lupus nephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys caused by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). SLE is a chronic, complex, and often disabling autoimmune disorder. An autoimmune disorder is one in which the body’s immune system (which fights off bacteria, viruses, and germs) attacks the body’s own cells, tissues, and organs.

Lupus Nephritis and Your Kidneys

With lupus nephritis, your kidneys cannot function properly to remove waste from your blood and control the amount of fluids in your body. Kidney disease caused by lupus may get worse over time and could lead to kidney (renal) failure, which is serious but treatable. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain your health.

SLE is a complex disorder, affecting many parts of the body

What is lupus nephritis

Who Develops Lupus Nephritis?

About one-third of adults have lupus nephritis at diagnosis of SLE. Up to 60% of people with SLE will go on to develop lupus nephritis. No one knows what causes lupus nephritis, although family history and environmental factors (such as viruses, toxic chemicals, or pollutants) may play a role.

Lupus Nephritis Diagnosis

Guide to Talking with Your Doctor

Make the most of your healthcare appointments. Download this helpful discussion guide and bring it with you to your next doctor’s visit.

Download Guide

Stay Connected. Stay Informed.

Sign up to receive:

  • Ongoing news and updates about lupus nephritis
  • A USB drive that contains helpful printable resources

Register Now