Can blood test confirm lupus nephritis ?

April 20, 2010

Lupus nephritis is a medical condition in which the kidney becomes inflamed because of a disease of the immune system, known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The disorder SLE is usually harmful to the kidneys, brain, skin and the various joints of the body.

Lupus Nephritis can occur to anyone. However, there are many different factors which may cause a person to be more prone to SLE than others.

The disorder is more common in women and is largely hereditary. Since this is a disorder of the immune system, a person who is prone to developing frequent infections is also more prone to this disorder. Other causes of SLE may include viral infections and other environmental causes.

Common symptoms of Lupus nephritis are rapid weight gain, a change in color of the urine, change in the blood pressure, formation of bags around the eyes or perpetual swelling in the under eye area and fingers or ankles. Though SLE causes damage to the kidneys also, there may not be any over symptoms indicating a condition affecting the kidneys.

Blood and urine tests are usually performed in order to check for SLE. Once the presence of SLE is confirmed in the body, lupus nephritis may also be confirmed. However, if the blood and urine test are inconclusive, as they often can be in this case, a kidney biopsy may have to be performed. The test aims to find blood in the urine. The presence of blood in the urine is a clear indication of kidney damage. When performing a blood test, the technicians look for the presence of urea and creatinine. The kidneys, when healthy, can remove both urea and creatinine from the blood. However, if blood contains high levels of these substances, it means that the kidneys are not able to optimally filter the blood.

The biopsy is the best method to find out the condition of the kidneys.

To obtain a biopsy, the doctor will insert a small needle into the skin and retrieve some skin cells. The tissue sample is then studied under a microscope. This can immediately help the technician confirm the presence of lupus nephritis. Along with confirming the presence of the disease, it is also possible for the technicians to find out the progress of the disease by performing an examination of the tissue samples retrieved from the kidneys. Once SLE or lupus nephritis is confirmed, further treatment could be carried out.

Submitted by M T on April 20, 2010 at 04:46

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