What tests do health care professionals use to diagnose lupus nephritis?

Lupus nephritis is diagnosed through urine and blood tests and a kidney biopsy.

Urine Test

 Urine sample is collected to  look for blood and protein in the urine.  A high level of protein or a high number of red blood cells means kidney damage. The urine will also be examined under a microscope to look for kidney cells.

Blood Test

Blood test is done to check for your kidney function. The blood test measures creatinine, a waste product from the normal breakdown of muscles in your body. Your kidneys remove creatinine from your blood. 

 

Kidney Biopsy

A kidney biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a small piece of kidney tissue for examination under a microscope.

A kidney biopsy can

  • confirm a diagnosis of lupus nephritis
  • find out how far the disease has progressed
  • guide treatment

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment may help protect your kidneys.

How do you treat lupus nephritis?

Health care professionals treat lupus nephritis with medicines that suppress your immune system so it stops attacking and damaging your kidneys. Goals of treatment are to

  • reduce inflammation in your kidneys
  • decrease immune system activity
  • block your body’s immune cells from attacking the kidneys directly or making antibodies  that attack the kidneys

Medicines

Your treatment depends on your class of lupus nephritis. This is based on your biopsy results. Commonly used medications are corticosteroids, cellcept and cyclophosphamide. 

Lupus nephritis can cause high blood pressure in some people.

ACE inhibitors and ARBs may help protect your kidneys, and diuretics help your kidneys remove fluid from your body.

The most severe form of lupus nephritis, called diffuse proliferative nephritis, can cause scars to form in the kidneys. Scars are permanent, and kidney function often declines as more scars form. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent long-lasting damage. 

Call  us at kingwood kidney associates 281-401-9540 to schedule your appointment to learm if you have lupus nephritis. 

You can also schedule your appointment online using the booking tool on this page. Book your examination today.