Lupus nephritis is inflammation of the kidney that is caused by systemic lupus erythematous (SLE). Also called lupus, SLE is an autoimmune disease. With lupus, the body's immune system targets its own body tissues. Lupus nephritis happens when lupus involves the kidneys. To analyse the relationships between ethnicity and the prevalence and severity of lupus nephritis (LN) in patients attending a tertiary referral centre (The Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH)).
Compared with the general Danish population, the standardized mortality ratio among a cohort of 100 patients with lupus nephritis was 6.8 (95% CI 4.9 to 9.4), according to Mikkel Faurschou, MD, of Copenhagen University Hospital, and colleagues. Mortality was even higher among patients who were younger than 30 at the time of their first renal biopsy (SMR 10.9, 95% CI 5.6 to 21), the researchers reported in the June Arthritis Care & Research.
Doctors generally taper down the dosage once the symptoms start to improve. • Immunosuppressive drugs. These drugs, which are related to the ones used to treat cancer or prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, work by suppressing immune system activity that damages the kidneys. They include cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), azathioprine (Imuran) and mycophenolate (Cellcept). • Medications to prevent blood clots or lower blood pressure if needed
To determine the link between dosage and efficacy, French researchers measured blood levels of MMF in lupus nephritis patients and compared them to the level of disease in the patients. The higher the blood level (indicating a higher dosage), the more likely participants were to have inactive disease. Researchers identified a drug threshold of 35 mcg.h/ml as an appropriate target for MMF dosing to reduce the likelihood of disease activity.