What is the clinical history characteristic of lupus nephritis?

Updated: Feb 08, 2021
  • Author: Lawrence H Brent, MD; Chief Editor: Vecihi Batuman, MD, FASN  more...
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Patients with active lupus nephritis often have other symptoms of active systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), including fatigue, fever, rash, arthritis, serositis, or central nervous system (CNS) disease. These are more common with focal and diffuse lupus nephritis. [30]

Some patients have asymptomatic lupus nephritis; however, during regular follow-up, laboratory abnormalities such as elevated serum creatinine levels, low albumin levels, or urinary protein or sediment suggests active lupus nephritis. This is more typical of mesangial or membranous lupus nephritis.

Symptoms related to active nephritis may include peripheral edema secondary to hypertension or hypoalbuminemia. Extreme peripheral edema is more common in persons with diffuse or membranous lupus nephritis, as these renal lesions are commonly associated with heavy proteinuria. [25]

Other symptoms directly related to hypertension that are commonly associated with diffuse lupus nephritis include headache, dizziness, visual disturbances, and signs of cardiac decompensation.

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