Lupus nephritis is an inflammation of the kidneys caused by Lupus. The inflammation of the kidneys occurs in the nephrons, kidney structures that filter the blood. Thus, the kidneys cannot properly remove waste from the blood.

There are many forms of kidney disease that are called lupus nephritis. Each form is distinguished by characteristic patterns of abnormalities as defined by a kidney biopsy, i.e. appearance of the tissue and immune abnormalities seen under the microscope.

Lupus nephritis usually develops in five years after the symptoms of lupus start. It affects people between 20 and 40.



The first symptoms of lupus nephritis are:

  • weight gain
  • puffiness in the feet, ankles, legs, hands, and/or eyelids
  • foamy urine, or red color urine  (hematuria)
  • proteins in the urine (proteinuria)
  • High blood pressure

The first signs of lupus nephritis often show up in clinical laboratory tests on the urine.



The cause of lupus nephritis is systemic lupus erythematosus. It is an autoimmune disease where the immune system produces autoantibodies that attack its own tissues and organs.


Risk Factors

The risk factors for lupus nephritis is existence of the autoimmune condition of lupus or systemic lupus erythematosus.



The  complications from lupus nephritis can result with:

  • Acute kidney failure
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • End-stage renal disease
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • diffuse proliferative nephritis, which can cause scarring of the kidneys whichis very difficult to treat
  • cancer, primarily B-cell lymphoma
  • heart and blood vessel problems