Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney that is caused by systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Lupus nephritis happens when lupus involves the kidneys. Active lupus nephritis, vascular events and infections were the most frequent causes of death in SLE patients. In addition to an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, a diuretic—a medication that helps the kidneys remove fluid from the body—may be prescribed. Beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, and other blood pressure medications may also be needed.
Nationwide prevalence and mortality rates in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) were estimated using a computer file of all hospital discharge records and cause of death statistics from 1972 to 1978. Age-specific and sex-specific prevalence rates obtained from 1976 to 1978 and mortality rates from 1972 to 1978. In December 1978 the prevalence of SLE was 28:100 000. The overall mortality rate was 4.7 per million person-years in 1972-78.
People with lupus nephritis that is causing high blood pressure may need to take medications that lower their blood pressure and can also significantly slow the progression of kidney disease. Two types of blood pressure lowering medications, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), have proven effective in slowing the progression of kidney disease. Many people require two or more medications to control their blood pressure.
Genentech, Inc. (NYSE: DNA) and Biogen Idec (Nasdaq: BIIB) announced that a Phase III study of Rituxan® (rituximab) plus mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and corticosteroids in patients with lupus nephritis did not meet its primary endpoint of significantly reducing disease activity at 52 weeks. The primary endpoint evaluated improvements in kidney response as measured by standard laboratory tests used to assess kidney health.