Recent advances in the treatment of lupus nephritis
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- Uchida, K. & Nitta, K. Clin Exp Nephrol (2012) 16: 202. doi:10.1007/s10157-011-0556-4
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Lupus nephritis is a common complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The concept of two phases of therapy for lupus nephritis, such as an induction phase and a maintenance phase, is widely accepted. Since the renal involvement in SLE is heterogeneous, the treatment of lupus nephritis is governed by its pathological type and ranges from nonspecific measures, such as maintenance of adequate blood pressure control and blockade of the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system, to the use of immunosuppressive agents. Cyclophosphamide (CYC) in combination with prednisone has been the standard method of treatment of the proliferative forms of lupus nephritis. However, the high rates of progression to end-stage renal disease coupled with the adverse effects of CYC and prednisone have led to an intensive search for more effective and less toxic therapies for lupus nephritis. We review the options available for the treatment of proliferative and membranous lupus nephritis and summarize the results of recently published clinical trials that add new perspectives to the management of kidney disease in SLE.