What are the renal symptoms of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)?

Updated: Aug 04, 2021
  • Author: Christie M Bartels, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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The kidney is the most commonly involved visceral organ in SLE. Although only approximately 50% of patients with SLE develop clinically evident renal disease, biopsy studies demonstrate some degree of renal involvement in most patients. [85] Therefore, it is important to correctly classify the extent of renal involvement in SLE to improve the correlation between histologic findings and the prognosis of the renal disease (see Biopsies and Histologic Features under Workup).Glomerular disease usually develops within the first few years of SLE onset and is often asymptomatic.

Acute or chronic renal failure may cause symptoms related to uremia and fluid overload. Acute nephritic disease may manifest as hypertension and hematuria. Nephrotic syndrome may cause edema, weight gain, or hyperlipidemia.

For additional information, see the Medscape Reference article Lupus Nephritis.

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