Lupus nephritis


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Lupus nephritis

Renal system

Renal and ureteral disorders

Renal agenesis

Horseshoe kidney

Potter sequence











Renal tubular acidosis

Minimal change disease

Diabetic nephropathy

Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (NORD)


Membranous nephropathy

Lupus nephritis

Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis

Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis

Goodpasture syndrome

Rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis

IgA nephropathy (NORD)

Lupus nephritis

Alport syndrome

Kidney stones


Acute pyelonephritis

Chronic pyelonephritis

Prerenal azotemia

Renal azotemia

Acute tubular necrosis

Postrenal azotemia

Renal papillary necrosis

Renal cortical necrosis

Chronic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease

Multicystic dysplastic kidney

Medullary cystic kidney disease

Medullary sponge kidney

Renal artery stenosis

Renal cell carcinoma


Nephroblastoma (Wilms tumor)

WAGR syndrome

Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome

Bladder and urethral disorders

Posterior urethral valves

Hypospadias and epispadias

Vesicoureteral reflux

Bladder exstrophy

Urinary incontinence

Neurogenic bladder

Lower urinary tract infection

Transitional cell carcinoma

Non-urothelial bladder cancers

Renal system pathology review

Congenital renal disorders: Pathology review

Renal tubular defects: Pathology review

Renal tubular acidosis: Pathology review

Acid-base disturbances: Pathology review

Electrolyte disturbances: Pathology review

Renal failure: Pathology review

Nephrotic syndromes: Pathology review

Nephritic syndromes: Pathology review

Urinary incontinence: Pathology review

Urinary tract infections: Pathology review

Kidney stones: Pathology review

Renal and urinary tract masses: Pathology review


Lupus nephritis


0 / 8 complete

USMLE® Step 1 questions

0 / 3 complete

High Yield Notes

9 pages


Lupus nephritis

of complete


USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

of complete

A 33-year-old Hispanic woman comes to the office because of red-colored urine. She first noticed the change in color 2 days ago. Medical history is significant for several years of joint pains. Temperature is 37.0°C (98.6°F), pulse is 80/min, respirations are 20/min, and blood pressure is 155/95 mmHg. Physical examination shows bilateral periorbital edema and ulcerative lesions on the palate. Laboratory results are as follows:

After further workup, renal biopsy is performed (shown below).

Reproduced from:

Which of the following additional findings is most likely to be present in this patient?


Content Reviewers

Rishi Desai, MD, MPH


Tanner Marshall, MS

Vincent Waldman, PhD

The term ‘lupus’ refers to systemic lupus erythematosus, ‘nephritis’ refers to the ‘nephron,’ the Greek word for kidney, and ‘itis’ means inflammation, so lupus nephritis refers to inflammation of the kidney that results from having systemic lupus erythematosus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, lungs, heart, central nervous system, and, of course, the kidneys.

In fact, about half of all individuals with lupus develop some form of lupus nephritis.

In lupus, what happens is that some cells have their DNA so badly damaged, that the cell undergoes programmed cell death, or apoptosis, and it dies. This produces all these little apoptotic bodies, and exposes the insides of the cell, including parts of the nucleus, like DNA, histones, and other proteins, to the rest of the body.

Now in lupus the immune system is more likely to think that cellular parts are foreign, or antigens, and since they’re from the nucleus, their referred to as nuclear antigens, and immune cells try to attack them.

Not only that though, individuals with lupus have less effective clearance, essentially they aren’t as good at getting rid of the apoptotic bodies and so they end up having more nuclear antigens floating around.

So as a result of all of this, B cells start producing antibodies against these pieces of nucleus, which are called antinuclear antibodies.

These antinuclear antibodies bind to nuclear antigens, forming antigen-antibody complexes, which drift away in the blood and deposit in various places including the kidneys.

These immune complexes can then initiate an inflammatory reaction, which is known as a type III hypersensitivity reaction.


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