What Is Lupus Nephritis?

Lupus nephritis (LN) is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. Approximately 50% of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients develop proliferative LN. With SLE, the immune system responds abnormally to the body’s tissues, producing proteins called autoantibodies. LN occurs when the autoantibodies damage the kidneys, causing inflammation that may lead to impaired kidney function and kidney failure.1 This autoimmune disease can severely impair kidney function, leading to potential end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or transplantation.

Common symptoms of LN include blood in the urine, protein in the urine, and swelling. LN is more common in women than men, as 70–80% of people diagnosed with lupus are women.2

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What Is Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy?

Immunoglobulin A nephropathy (IgAN), also known as Berger’s disease, is an immune-mediated disease – a disease caused by abnormal activity of the immune system. IgAN occurs when immunoglobulin A (IgA), an antibody normally produced by the immune system to fight against bacteria and viruses, builds up in the kidneys and causes inflammation and damage. IgAN can lead to kidney failure, at which point a patient will need either a kidney transplant or a blood-filtering treatment called dialysis.3

Common symptoms for IgAN include high blood pressure, drowsiness, hematuria, and proteinuria. IgAN is one of the most common primary kidney diseases and can occur at any age.3

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  1. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lupus-nephritis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354335
  2. niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/lupus-nephritis
  3. niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/iga-nephropathy